Pep Guardiola: Jurgen Klopp rivalry has made me better

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes his rivalry with Jurgen Klopp has helped make him a better manager.

Guardiola will come up against his Liverpool counterpart on Sunday when Premier League champions City visit Anfield.

With Guardiola and Klopp at the helm, the two clubs have been the pre-eminent forces in the English game in recent seasons.

Guardiola said: “He helped me, his teams helped me, to be a better manager. He put me at another level, to think about it and to prove myself what I had to do to be a better manager.

“That’s the reason I’m still in this business. Some managers, and Jurgen is one of them, challenge you to make a step forward.”

City won at Anfield last season for the first time in 18 years.

City's 4-1 victory at Anfield in February was the club's first at the ground in 18 years
City’s 4-1 victory at Anfield in February was the club’s first at the ground in 18 years (Tim Keeton/PA)

With the game in February played during the coronavirus lockdown, it was said at the time that the lack of fans may have helped City, but Guardiola insists he would rather play at a full house.

He said: “I’m very pleased Anfield is full again and we can go there to play a game. It’s nice that the people are back and we can enjoy a fantastic atmosphere there. Hopefully we can handle it in a good way.

“I don’t know the reasons why we didn’t win at Anfield over the 18 years. Over my five years, it was because they are an exceptional team.”