Mauricio Pochettino praises ‘great’ Pep Guardiola as the world’s BEST coach

They may not have always seen it together, but Mauricio Pochettino has hailed Pep Guardiola as the world’s best coach as he prepares his Paris Saint-Germain team for Manchester City.

The duo clashed in a city as players and managers in Barcelona for Espanyol and Barca – and as Premier League rivals during Pochettino’s five years at Tottenham.

He once called Guardiola ‘disrespectful’ for referring to Spurs as ‘the Harry Kane team’, but before the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, he saluted the City boss.

PSG's Mauricio Pochettino has named Man City's Pep Guardiola the world's best coach

PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino has named Man City’s Pep Guardiola the world’s best coach

Ahead of the Champions League semi-final on Wednesday, he greeted the City boss (pictured)

“He’s the best for me,” said Pochettino, 49. “I admire him and think he’s doing a fantastic job not only at Manchester City, but also at Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

‘He is a great, intelligent coach, always thinking of different strategies and game plans. I like to challenge him and the teams he has prepared.

‘Not just the best manager. The club is also important. A club that you trust to build a team and that offers you all the tools to be successful. That’s the combination at Manchester City between Pep, the coaching staff, the club, the board, everyone.

“They create an amazing structure, very solid and a very clear picture of how to act to be successful.”

The former Spurs manager praised City for “creating a great structure” at the club

Guardiola, 50, has won the European Cup once as a player and twice as a Barça manager, trying to lead City to the final of the competition for the first time.

Pochettino took Spurs to the final two years ago, beating City in the quarter-finals before being defeated by Liverpool in the final. PSG lost to Bayern Munich in the final last year. The goal is to go one step further together.

“The motivation is there because the players really want to win the Champions League,” said the PSG boss. ‘We now have the experience, but we have to go step by step. Now we have to beat Manchester City and it will be really tough. ‘

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