Men's Team

Managers and pundits sound salute to Pep

Pep Guardiola has penned a new two-year contract with City, keeping him at the Club until 2025.

In the course of six and a half seasons at City to date, the acclaimed Etihad manager has won 11 major trophies and broken record upon record along the way just for good measure.

The manner of those achievements has been married with an artistry, technique and brand of beautiful, beguiling football that has set new standards in the way the game is played in this country.

City fans, of course, are universal in their admiration and passion for Pep.

But the Catalan’s towering impact has also garnered the highest praise from his fellow managers too along with some of football’s most respected pundits and analysts.

We have gathered some of the comments and observations made in honour of the boss from many of the game’s most respected figures which provides a measure of his colossal standing around the world:

Zinedine Zidane:

“He always proved that (he is the best).

"First with Barcelona, then with Munich, now with Manchester City. That's my opinion. Some people can think other coaches are better but for me, he is the best.

"I've mentioned before that I've spent a few days with him when he was at Bayern, talking about training, how to manage a team, and he was quite honest, quite open, and I learned a lot talking with him."

Jurgen Klopp:

“I would prefer Pep to be doing a sabbatical for four years!

“He’s the best manager in the world and he is proving that all the time, every day, it’s special what they are doing, it’s really special and I respect that.

"I can give [that compliment] exactly like that back, if they (City) are not the best team in history already to be honest.

"I cannot compare really with what was 20 or 30 years ago, but the football standard with all the things I know today, they are really, really, really good and I don’t know a better team to be honest.”

Carlo Ancelotti:

“Pep is a fantastic manager.

“I have a really good relationship with him and a lot of respect. He is a genius because he’s always tried to do something special on the pitch.

“I would steal the speed at which he can convey his ideas to his team. In this respect, he is phenomenal as he is in conveying his ideas to others.

“That’s the most complicated aspect, because every coach has his ideas in his own mind. But the real skill is conveying those ideas to a different person who then has to bring them onto the pitch.

“City remain a fantastic team, with a fantastic manager, and it is really tough to compete with them.”

Roberto De Zerbi:

"I think Pep Guardiola's football is unreachable because he has shown such football in the UK and Germany and Spain.

"Guardiola is a great trainer and we are all looking at him."

Mauricio Pochettino:

"For me, he [Pep Guardiola] is the best. I admire him and think he's doing a fantastic job not only at Manchester City but in Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

“He is an amazing, intelligent coach, always thinking of different strategies and game-plans.

"I love to challenge him and teams he prepared. Not only the best manager. A club that trusts you

"It's always an amazing challenge to face Pep and for me he’s the best coach in the world. I love the football he tried to show at every club he’s been at. Yes, it's always an amazing challenge and it’s a very good challenge."

Thomas Tuchel:

"I have the highest respect for Pep because I am a huge admirer of his impact from his first day of professional coaching. The impact at Barcelona, Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.

“This is something I hugely admire, and this will never change. The biggest respect, look at the trophies and influence." he continued.

Arsene Wenger:

"I personally respect him hugely as a manager and I think he’s had an exceptional career.

"I think he has done much better than I have and he's knowing very well what to do.

"He has exceptional teams, and he is managing them very well.

"I think I respect what he does because he has a clear vision of the game, he has a positive attitude, a positive philosophy.

"Even if he doesn't win I have as much respect as when he wins because I think people have an influence in the game. It's very important to have a positive attitude towards the game."

Xavi:

“Pep has helped us all improve.

“He has a way of understanding football which is unique. In one way or another he lets you understand how the play has to progress and he changed the way of defending by going forward. It’s something different – it’s not from this moment.

“He has been trained in Barcelona for a lot of his professional years. But he has also been to other places and this has nourished everything that he has seen.

“Then he had a lot of meetings with different trainers and coaches and he is someone who always wants to learn more.”

Gareth Southgate:

"Pep has been an innovator. When I watch kids' football now, when they can get on pitches that aren't flooded or frozen, I see them playing out from the back.

"Who coaches our youngest players? It's dads and parents who coach junior teams.

"I don't see [coaches] with heads in their hands saying 'Get it forward'. I think that's an impact of his team.

"That, coupled with us going to smaller-sized pitches and smaller games, all of that is helping football at the youngest possible age groups.

"Now he's having an impact with his [City] team playing in a manner which is different to anything else we've seen at the top end of the game.

"I always talk about us not getting off the island, so it's great we've had coaches coming on to the island to help us."

Johan Cruyff:

"He is doing very well, step by step, doing things the way he thinks they should do. He is attentive to every detail and always tries to get the most out of each player.

"I'm very lucky to have coached people like Guardiola.

"This is not just about winning a game; it is something else. And that is what gives me most pride."

Marcelo Bielsa:

“Pep is a magical man.

“What he knows how to do is extremely difficult for me to try and I’ve already given up, but I have genuine admiration for what he does. Interpreting the novel decisions that he incorporates into a game is already a way of falling in love with football.”

Marco Silva:

“Probably? No. (He is) The best, by a distance. Not probably, for me they (City) are the best.

“Apart from that fantastic season Liverpool had two seasons ago, since Pep [Guardiola] joined the club they have been really dominant, not just in terms of results and winning trophies, but with the quality in their football."

“For people who love football in this country, they have been pleased to see it, because of the way they are winning football matches."

Gary Neville:

“You just have to recognise Manchester City's outstanding football.

"Under Pep Guardiola it’s absolutely out of this world. The football they play is magnificent, it really is.

"I think Manchester City may have the greatest manager of all time and we'll look back in 10, 15, 20 years' time… just the way he has infiltrated countries, dominated football but also influenced others, I don't think I've ever seen it.

"You look at how he's won in three different countries, he's now dominating in this country - he's won four league titles in five years, and these are massive achievements.”

Jamie Redknapp:

"Pep Guardiola, I think he is a genius. The players will run through brick walls for him. The football they play in midfield, from the back, it is a joy.

"Is he the greatest ever? I personally think with the style of football he plays, how humble he is, the way he improves players, I think he is the greatest ever. Already for whatever happens from here.

"There was always that argument when he was at Barcelona that he had Messi, Iniesta, Xavi. But now everywhere he goes you see the progression, the improvement.”

Rio Ferdinand:

Pep is the innovator - the best we have seen in our generation. You think Johan Cruyff in the past - Pep today.

“We love him because when he puts a team out there are questions all the time ‘Who’s going to be there? Who’s going to adopt this side of the pitch?’

“They’re the reasons we love him, he thinks outside the box, but then you can’t go and hammer him because ‘he got that decision wrong because he was experimenting or experimenting something different’.

"99 per cent of the time, it makes him different but separates him being world-class. He gets it right most of the time.”

Gary Lineker:

“I’ll say it for him. He’s had, arguably, the most positive influence of anyone, ever on our game.

Pep Guardiola has changed the way we play/think about the game.

“From our obsession with direct play to total football...and they said it couldn’t be done.”

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