Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to his Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp, admitting that he has helped him improve as a manager.
Guardiola and Klopp are set to renew their rivalry at Anfield on Sunday, meeting for the first time since the return of spectators to Premier League grounds.
City and Liverpool shared the top flight’s leading rivalry a few seasons ago but both face challenges from Chelsea and Manchester United for this season’s title.
Guardiola has won three of the last four titles with City – with Liverpool claiming the other during the 2019-20 season – and he credits Klopp for helping to push him further.
“He helped me, his teams helped me be a better manager,” Guardiola said of his rival.
“He put me at another level to think about it and prove myself to be a better manager, with our teams, to try to beat them. That’s the reason I’m still in this business.
“Some managers, and Jurgen is one, challenge you to make a step forward. We did it in Germany when we faced each other and here in England, many years together, many competitions, sometimes win and sometimes lose.
“Both teams have the same idea, go out to try to score goals in different ways. He is quicker than us. But we both try to win the games.”