Jurgen Klopp has opened up on his professional rivalry with Pep Guardiola, which he feels has pushed both managers to “insane levels”.
Klopp’s Liverpool and Guardiola’s Man City are again in a two-horse race from the Premier League title this season. City are currently top by six points but the Reds have a game in hand, and both teams still have to square off again in April.
Speaking after City extended their lead at the summit with a 4-1 victory over Manchester United on Sunday, Guardiola admitted that Klopp’s charges were the toughest team he had faced in his coaching career.
The German has since responded to these comments, returning the compliment and also taking time to praise Guardiola’s Bayern Munich side, whom he faced when in charge of Borussia Dortmund.
“I can give that back, hey?! Easily. I could say City is the toughest opponent I ever had but I should not forget I faced him already at Bayern, so I cannot say that it was much easier, it’s just a different situation,” he said.
“I know what he means – we push each other on insane levels, we pushed each other on insane levels in the last few years. The amount of points both teams collected, OK, we couldn’t cope with it last year for obvious reasons, but in the other years we were really around.
“How I said, I don’t think City would get the amount of points they will get this year if we wouldn’t be around, and the other way around is pretty much the same. It’s good but a lot of games to play, so we will see where we end up.”