Pep Guardiola must have rolled his eyes and let out a long sigh when the news was announced that Jose Mourinho would soon be living and working in the same city as him.
Mourinho wore down Guardiola in Spain, to the point that he was left with no choice - for his own sanity - but to walk away from Barcelona in 2012.
The two men previously worked together at the Camp Nou, but their friendship and mutual respect was left in tatters by those three intense years competing against one another in La Liga.
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Ahead of the 2016-17 campaign, Guardiola and Mourinho have been fairly respectful - without being overly complimentary - towards one another.
They’ve both insisted they are not the important people in this new adventure: the Manchester United and City players, however, are.
But rest assured: the countdown is on for September 10, when the two rivals will go head-to-head in the first Manchester derby of the season at Old Trafford. All eyes will be on them.
Pep reveals what he thinks about Jose
With just a couple of weeks to go before the start of the new campaign, Man City have got Pep to do something rather bizarre for the club’s YouTube channel.
The revered Catalan coach, widely regarded as the best tactician in world football, has been chauffeured around Manchester in the back of a taxi, by a bloke named ‘Chappy’, surprising City fans while getting to know a little more about the club and the city.
One of the supporters he met asked him straight up: “Jose Mourinho: what do you think about him?”
Pep didn’t hesitate with his response. He knows how this game works and would have been aware of the implications had he said anything negative on camera.
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“Very good,” the 45-year-old responded. “I know when you play against the best managers at the end you become a better manager.”
Taking away the attention from Mourinho, Guardiola added: “So it’s good. Not just Jose, [Antonio] Conte and [Mauricio] Pochettino, Ronald Koeman, Jurgen Klopp and of course Claudio Ranieri.
“There are a lot of then, Big Sam [Allardyce], there’s many many.”
Poor old Arsene.
Will Jose Mourinho or Pep Guardiola prove to be the best manager in Manchester? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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