Guardiola on exit of ‘largest rival’ Klopp: ‘I will sleep higher’

  • Rob Dawson, CorrespondentJan 26, 2024, 06:33 PM ET

Pep Guardiola says he will “sleep better” now Jurgen Klopp has announced his exit as Liverpool manager while hinting that he could extend his contract with Manchester City.

Klopp will step down at the end of the season after winning the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, Super Cup and Club World Cup during nine years at Anfield.

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Liverpool have established themselves as the main competitors to Guardiola’s City during the German’s time in England, and Guardiola admitted he will be happy to see the back of his rival.

“I will sleep better,” he said, following City’s 1-0 win over Tottenham on Friday.

“The days before playing against Liverpool were almost a nightmare. Of course he will be missed. I was shocked, like everyone, to the news. I felt a part of Man City would be lost.

“We cannot define our period here together without him and Liverpool; it is impossible. They have been our biggest rival and personally he has been my biggest rival from when he was at [Borussia] Dortmund and I was at Bayern [Munich].

“I think the Premier League is going to miss his charisma, personality and the way his teams play. I wish him all the best.”

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have been at the center of one of the Premier League’s great rivalries. James Gill – Danehouse/Getty Images

Speaking Friday following the announcement, Klopp said he had run out of the necessary energy to carry on as Liverpool boss.

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Guardiola, though, said that after more than seven years at the Etihad Stadium, he still hasn’t ruled out extending his contract, set to end in 2025. He cheekily said he believes he will meet Klopp on the touchline again, despite Klopp saying that his career as a manager may be over.

“Maybe it is an opinion that he will not admit but he will be back,” Guardiola said.

“I know it. Maybe in 10 years time, he may need to recharge his energy. With his personality and his energy, he will be back. National team, other teams, I don’t know but football needs personalities like him.

“I’m fine. I want to do it still for one more year, and maybe extend. I’m fine. I still try to manage.”

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