Spanish Pep Guardiola, coach of Manchester City, the European and English champion, said, “I will sleep a little better,” commenting on the announcement of his “biggest rival,” German Jurgen Klopp, that he will leave Liverpool at the end of this season.
Klopp shocked everyone when he announced on Friday his departure from Liverpool, the current leader of the English Premier League, before the end of his contract.
The German coach was Guardiola's strongest competitor during their time in the Premier League.
While the Spanish coach won more titles with City, he acknowledged the danger that Klopp posed to his team.
After City's victory over Tottenham on Friday in the fourth round of the FA Cup competition, which he holds, Guardiola praised Klopp, saying, “He is an amazing coach. I do not know him closely, but I think he is a wonderful person.”
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola: Jurgen Klopp is a great coach. After his departure from Liverpool, I will be able to sleep better. pic.twitter.com/QDGfQC9rPJ
– Al Jazeera Net Sports (@AJASports) January 27, 2024
Pep continued, “I have a feeling that when he leaves at the end of the season, part of us will also leave in Manchester City. He was our toughest opponent, in recent years.”
Klopp (56 years old) attributed the reasons for his departure to losing the energy needed to continue after 9 years at Anfield.
Guardiola (53 years old) can understand Klopp's decision, after the former made a similar move with Barcelona in 2012.
He said, “All coaches feel tired after many years. I feel that way. I faced that with Barcelona, so I completely understand it.”
Although City won the league title in the last three seasons, its throne is strongly threatened by Liverpool this season.
The Reds currently lead by 5 points over the “Citizens”, who played one less match.
Their last match in the league will be on March 9 at Anfield.
“He was my biggest rival, I think we will miss him,” Guariola said. “I'm kind of happy, because without him I'll sleep a little better the night before facing Liverpool, but I wish him all the best. He doesn't admit it, but he will come back.”