Pep Guardiola jokingly stated that he and Manchester City will find life easier now that Jurgen Klopp has chosen to depart Liverpool at the end of the season.
On Friday, Klopp’s surprising announcement that he would conclude his highly successful nine-year tenure with Liverpool in May sent shockwaves through the global football community. Guardiola, in paying tribute to his longstanding adversary, acknowledged that Klopp has consistently brought out the best in the Catalan coach, initially during their time with Bayern Munich and later with City.
Guardiola said: “I will sleep better. The days before playing against Liverpool were almost a nightmare. Of course he will be missed. I was shocked, like everyone, by the news. I felt a part of Man City would be lost. We cannot define our period here together without him and Liverpool – it is impossible.”
“They have been our biggest rival and personally he has been my biggest rival from when he was at Borussia Dortmund and I was at Bayern Munich,” Guardiola added. “I think the Premier League is going to miss his charisma, personality and the way his teams play. They have always been a pleasure to watch how positive they are in their approach. They try to win every game. I wish him all the best. Liverpool is always tough.”
Klopp and Guardiola faced each other 28 times, with the German winning 12 times
‘Maybe it is an opinion that he will not admit but he will be back. I know it. Maybe in 10 years time, he may need to recharge his energy. With his personality and his energy, he will be back,” Guardiola added. “National team, another team, I don’t know but football needs personalities like him. It was a dream when we were together and hopefully next season we can have time to go to dinner together or a drink that we deserve to take.”
Of all managers, Klopp boasts the most impressive record against Guardiola, and Liverpool stands as the sole team that disrupted Manchester City’s era of dominance from 2018 to 2023. They clinched the Premier League title in 2020, putting an end to the Merseyside club’s 30-year-long wait for an English league crown.
Additionally, Liverpool fiercely contested City for the title in the 2018-19 and 2021-22 seasons. This season, Klopp’s team appears to be the most formidable contender for the crown and poses as Guardiola’s primary rival.
Having faced Klopp on 28 occasions, Guardiola has encountered him more than any other manager, experiencing 12 defeats—the highest number against any coach. It’s not surprising that Guardiola is celebrating Klopp’s departure, even if it’s in jest.
City secured a spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup and will face Burnley in the Premier League on Wednesday. Klopp, on the other hand, will encounter the Anfield crowd for the first time since his surprising announcement when Liverpool hosts Norwich in the FA Cup.