Manchester city manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that Antonio Conte may be “the best manager in the world” ahead of their crunch Premier League meeting on Wednesday.
By Carlo Chikomba
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Guardiola added that he has “learned a lot” from teams managed by the current Chelsea boss.
While both managers are in their debut season in English football they have had different fortunes in the league with Conte having fared better than the former Bayern Munich boss, his Chelsea side leading the Premier League, 11 points ahead of fourth-placed City.
“My opinion about my colleague Conte is that he’s superb,” said Guardiola.
“He was able to make Italy play beautiful football – Juventus too – in a culture where it’s so defensive.
“He’s an excellent manager, I learn a lot when I see his teams – Juventus, Italy and now. I like to do that because you see what they want to do. Their teams control a lot of aspects.
“Maybe he’s the best.”
The Catalan took over at Manchester City last summer on the back of three successive Bundesliga titles and two German Cups with his previous employers Bayern Munich between 2013 and 2016.
Prior to that, Guardiola had enjoyed a successful career with Barcelona, leading them to three straight La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys and the Champions League twice.
However, it has been a rather different story with the Citizens as they now find themselves in fourth, eleven points adrift of log leaders Chelsea.
The 46 year old says he was always realistic about what he could achieve with City during this campaign.
“In my case I had to win the treble and change English football,” he said.
“Expectations were quite high, that’s why I’m going to fall short definitely. I cannot have success this season.
“In Barcelona we won the three titles in a row, we played all the competitions, we played the Champions League every three days and we were able to play almost immediately. Sometimes you need more time.”