Prior to the champions’ visit to Anfield, the Liverpool manager praised his biggest opponent as the best manager in the world and stated he is truly shocked that Guardiola’s contract at the Etihad has just nine months still to run.
Klopp quipped that the only scenario that would have been better would have been for Guardiola to have spent the last four years away from the Premier League. He stated that he would be glad for the Catalan to take a four-year break at the end of the season. When asked if he wanted the competition to carry on into the future, Klopp responded, “No, I would prefer Pep is doing a sabbatical for four years – 100%!”
The Liverpool manager does not subscribe to the idea that City must win the European championship to enter the elite. Respect has been at the center of their rivalry rather than wrath, and the German is prepared to accept Guardiola’s invitation to join him for a drink after the fighting is over.
“Pep has promised to sit with me and drink wine when we are no longer in charge of any clubs, even though I am not a huge wine drinker,” said Klopp. “We could still do it if he’s off and I’m working. No problem, I’d go see him and have that conversation. Because we don’t know each other, Pep and I aren’t the best of friends. However, I hold him in high regard and am confident that he holds our work similarly. Even though we are rivals, you don’t have to treat one another disrespectfully. Without actually meeting and conversing, I’d say our relationship is good. We are both competitors during the games, but so far, we have done a great job of ignoring everything else,” added Klopp.