Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has described his Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel as an “exceptional manager” as the two tacticians prepare to meet in Saturday’s Champions League final.
The two managers have met twice this season, with Chelsea coming out on top in both encounters.
It was the Londoners who secured a 1-0 win over the Citizens in the FA Cup at Stamford Bridge, before going on to earn a 2-1 victory at the Etihad in the Premier League.
Guardiola is full of admiration for Tuchel and feels a win in the final would mean even more, due to the quality of his opposite number.
“With football, one of the nicest things is talking about it,” Guardiola told the UEFA website. “There’s watching and training and, after that, there’s talk. I would say I learn a lot from Thomas; I learned a lot watching his teams, with our conversations.
“It doesn’t matter if he has a lot of info about us or about me because, in the end, luckily for world football, he cannot play, I cannot play. So, in the end, the guys who are going to decide the final will be the players.
“I have a lot of respect for him; I think he is an exceptional, exceptional manager. And that’s all. So of course I want to beat him, like I guess he wants to beat me.”
Guardiola will be going in search of his third Champions League title, having lifted the trophy with Barcelona in both 2009 and 2011, while Tuchel is hoping for his first having lost last season’s final with Paris Saint-Germain.
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