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Klopp pays tribute to Guardiola ahead of Liverpool-Man City match at Anfield

Pep Guardiola Manchester City Pep Guardiola - The Canadian Press

LIVERPOOL, England (AP) — Jurgen Klopp can't figure out how he has a winning record against Pep Guardiola, whom he called the “best manager in the world.”

The glowing tribute served as a prelude to Sunday's highly anticipated match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield with first place on the line in the English Premier League.

It will be the 30th meeting between Klopp and Guardiola — and potentially the final one given that the German manager is leaving Liverpool after this season.

“In this moment, I just got told now, I have a positive record against Pep. I have no clue how that happened, to be honest,” Klopp said Friday at a news conference.

In their 29 head-to-head matchups, Klopp's teams — Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund — have won 12 and lost 11 against Guardiola's teams — City and Bayern Munich. Six ended in draws.

City won the treble of trophies last season — the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League. City has won the league title five times under Guardiola, including the past three.

“Pep is the best manager in the world. I have a really good life being not even close to that,” he said.

Klopp knows he's no slouch, either.

“I know I’m not bad. But you ask about the best and, for me, he is the best — bam,” said Klopp, who restored a winning culture at Anfield — domestically and in Europe — after arriving in October 2015.

After Sunday's game, the teams could still meet in the FA Cup if they advance past their quarterfinals this month.

Guardiola was complimentary of his rival, as well.

“From the way he makes his teams play football, you always learn. It was always a pleasure to play against him and it will be on Sunday, too.”


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