Speculation quashed as Guardiola praises Brighton boss ahead of Saturday clash
In a recent twist to the managerial saga surrounding Manchester City, Pep Guardiola has vehemently denied rumors suggesting he endorsed Roberto De Zerbi as his successor. The Catalan coach addressed the speculation that emerged after City’s draw at the Amex Stadium in May, dismissing any private backing for the Brighton boss.
Despite the swirl of conjecture, Guardiola continues to express admiration for De Zerbi, especially in the lead-up to the Saturday showdown between their respective teams. Guardiola, whose contract expires in 2025, has cast doubt on the alleged endorsement but remains effusive in his praise for the Italian manager.
“I don’t remember that. Maybe I have a bad memory, but I’m sure Roberto can train in any team around the world. I don’t have any doubt,” Guardiola stated. He clarified his stance on managerial matters, emphasizing that he is not the sporting director and, therefore, it’s not his responsibility to dictate the club’s decisions.
Roberto De Zerbi, the former Sassuolo and Shakhtar Donetsk boss, has left a significant impact since taking charge at Brighton just over a year ago. Achieving a historic sixth-placed finish in the Premier League last season, De Zerbi guided the club into European competition.
Guardiola sees De Zerbi’s success as evidence that a manager doesn’t necessarily require prior experience at the highest level to secure top managerial positions. He commented, “It doesn’t mean you have to be at the top clubs to be the manager of the top clubs.” Guardiola drew parallels with his own early career, highlighting that he started at Barcelona’s first team with no experience at the top level.
As the speculation about Guardiola’s future continues, he remains focused on learning from his peers. Despite being widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches of his generation, Guardiola acknowledges the value of gleaning insights from younger managers like the 44-year-old De Zerbi.
“His players are always in the perfect body-shape position to get the ball. Everything he does makes sense, and I learn,” Guardiola added, illustrating that even a seasoned coach can find inspiration in the methods of his contemporaries.
The Saturday clash between Manchester City and Brighton promises to be an intriguing encounter, both on and off the field, as Guardiola’s future and De Zerbi’s managerial prowess take center stage.
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