PSG's Pochettino relishing challenge against 'amazing' Guardiola

Reuters , Tuesday 27 Apr 2021

Paris Saint-Germain's Argentinian head coach Mauricio Pochettino reacts during the French L1 football match between Paris-Saint Germain (PSG) and Saint-Etienne at the Parc des Princes Stadium, in Paris, on April 18, 2021. (AFP)

Paris St Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino said his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola is the best coach in the world as they prepare to renew their rivalry in the Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.

The pair have locked horns before, both on the pitch and in the dugout, lining up against each other in their playing days for city rivals Barcelona and Espanyol before going on to manage their respective clubs.

They were also in opposition in the Premier League during Pochettino's five years at Tottenham Hotspur. The Argentine took Spurs to the Champions League final two years ago, knocking Guardiola's City out in the quarter-finals.

"For me, he is the best," Pochettino, who replaced Thomas Tuchel as PSG boss midway through the season, told British media.

"I admire him and think he is doing a fantastic job. He is an amazing coach, always thinking of different strategies and game-plans. I love to challenge him and the teams he prepared.

"Not only the best manager. The club is important, too. A club that trusts you to build a team and provides you with all the tools."

Pochettino said his side's loss to Bayern Munich in last season's Champions League final would give them added motivation this time around.

"We now have the experience but we need to go step by step. Now, we have to beat Manchester City and it is going to be really, really tough."

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