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Pep: Rivalry is a thing of past

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THUMBS UP: Pep Guardiola

THUMBS UP: Pep Guardiola

Action Images via Reuters

THUMBS UP: Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Jose Mourinho as he admitted the pair’s rivalry had simmered down.

The Manchester City boss comes up against his old adversary as he takes his side to Tottenham in the Premier League tomorrow.

Guardiola and Mourinho fought out some intense duels during their times as managers of Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

That rivalry was expected to reignite when they both moved to Manchester clubs in 2016 but, in the period leading up to Mourinho’s sacking at United in Deember 2018, it was noticeably less ferocious.

“I’m sorry for you!” Guardiola said. “I know you were looking forward (to it) but I’m sorry. Maybe we are older and more experienced. “Every time when we played when he was at United, always the people weren’t talking about how we are going to play or how he is going to play, or who was going to win.

“It was just about my press conference, did I say something or did he say something? But, I’m sorry, I told you, it didn’t happen.”

Guardiola and Mourinho are two of the most successful managers in the modern game and the City boss insists he has the utmost respect for his Spurs counterpart.

Mourinho had almost a year out of the game before taking over at Spurs following the sacking of Mauricio Pochettino last December. Guardiola feels the Portuguese should not be judged on the sorry end to his tenure at Old Trafford.

Guardiola said: “The value of Jose, a manager with a lot of experience with a lot of success, is not to be judged on one season, or one-and-a-half seasons.”