Mourinho, Guardiola to cross swords once more

Jose Mourinho (left), officially confirmed as United manager on May 27, and old adversary Pep Guardiola, who is replacing Manuel Pellegrini at City, will renew hostilities in the pre-season International Champions Cup.
Jose Mourinho (left), officially confirmed as United manager on May 27, and old adversary Pep Guardiola, who is replacing Manuel Pellegrini at City, will renew hostilities in the pre-season International Champions Cup. PHOTOS: EPA

LONDON • The new managers of Manchester United and Manchester City will face an early confrontation when the teams meet in a friendly in Beijing on July 25.

Jose Mourinho, officially confirmed as United manager yesterday, and old adversary Pep Guardiola, who is replacing Manuel Pellegrini at City, will renew hostilities in the pre-season International Champions Cup.

There was little love lost between the pair when Mourinho was in charge at Real Madrid and Guardiola led Barcelona.

The rivalry is likely to be just as fierce when United attempt to make up ground on their neighbours, who have finished above them in the Premier League for the past three seasons.

This term City were only ahead on goal difference but pipping Man United to fourth position meant they took the final Champions League qualifying place.

"Next season will be electric in the dugouts. Mourinho, Klopp, Guardiola, Conte all fresh and keen... and Wenger of course," former Leicester and England international striker Gary Lineker tweeted.

"Being first is in his (Mourinho's) blood."

United won the FA Cup last weekend but the final proved to be manager Louis van Gaal's swan-song, his dismissal coming two days later.

The first game of their pre-season tour to China is against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on July 22.

United, as FA Cup holders, take on Premier League champions Leicester City in the annual Community Shield game at Wembley on Aug 7.

Before that, Mourinho will have an early taste of Old Trafford when he leads an England XI in a charity football match for Soccer Aid against a Rest of the World XI on June 5.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri will be in the opposition dugout that day as manager of the World XI who are due to include former Brazilian greats Ronaldinho and Cafu.

Next season's Premier League fixtures will be announced on June 15.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 28, 2016, with the headline 'Mourinho, Guardiola to cross swords once more'. Print Edition | Subscribe