Jose will take me to fresh heights: Pep

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola can hardly wait to work with Raheem Sterling, Joe Hart and other English players on reaching their potential.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola can hardly wait to work with Raheem Sterling, Joe Hart and other English players on reaching their potential.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

New City boss looks forward to clashing with old rival as top coaches bring out best in him

LONDON • Pep Guardiola believes the renewal of his rivalry with Jose Mourinho in Manchester can help him reach even greater levels as a manager.

The new Manchester City manager, who won six leagues titles, a pair of Champions Leagues and four domestic cups during his time with Barcelona and Bayern Munich, met the press for the first time yesterday, just three days after his rival Mourinho was unveiled across the city at United.

The two had previously locked horns in fiery El Clasico encounters in Spain, when Guardiola was in charge of Barcelona and Mourinho held the reins at Real Madrid, and the Spaniard thinks trying to outmanoeuvre the best coaches in the world has brought the best out of him.

"I think Jose said it pretty well that it is not about him or me," Guardiola said. "What I saw from the distance is it's so tough to win the games here. We played many times against each other.

"I can say, they help me, the big coaches, and Jose is one of them, they help me to reach another level.

"My experience against him, against (Liverpool's) Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund, a lot of coaches in Germany and Spain they made me better.

PEP GUARDIOLA ON...

A WINNING MENTALITY

All the managers in the world want to win and we are going to try and win as well.

DEVELOPING LOCALS

... and I would like to work with English players here but they are so expensive, more than the other players around the world.

"All the managers in the world want to win and we are going to try and win as well."

Guardiola was also full of praise for City's new training facility, saying it was among the best he has ever seen.

The 45-year-old has cast his eye over the City squad after they returned to training this week, though England's Raheem Sterling and Joe Hart were not present despite their early Euro 2016 exit.

Sterling has got plenty of criticism following events in France, yet his new manager is relishing working with a player that cost City almost £50 million (S$87.3 million the current rate) last summer.

"I hear the last 10 days what happened, especially with Sterling," Guardiola said.

"Of course he has a little problem that the money they paid is always in the mind of the people but I am curious, I am looking forward... to show him how good a player he is and not just him, Joe Hart and the other English players.

"In Barcelona the basis was Catalan, Spanish players, in Bayern Munich the basis was (German players) and I would like to work with English players here but they are so expensive, more than the other players around the world."

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2016, with the headline 'Jose will take me to fresh heights: Pep'. Print Edition | Subscribe