Manchester United and Manchester City have always been enemies. That rivalry certainly intensified when both Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola moved to the North-West.
Last term it was United who were left smiling, with the Red Devils winning two trophies while the Blues remained empty-handed. This season it has been a complete role-reversal.
That hasn’t stopped the niceties between the pair, though, with the ultimate compliment being paid by Guardiola to his former FC Barcelona colleague.
“Of course Jose is always a huge competitor,” he told Sky Sports, per the Manchester Evening News.
“How he convinces them to be his teams…I admire the big, big quality teams always be like soldiers in the way they defend and defend, and the qualities they have.”
Winning the admiration of your opposite number is the ultimate mark of respect. These are two of the best managers in world football at the moment, who strategise in remarkably different manners.
The proof is in the pudding. Both are serial winners and that never changes. Yes, they’ve been at loggerheads in the past, but to see that completely put to bed is great.
Like Guardiola says, you have to be appreciative of the way that Mourinho teams defend; particularly when the pressure is well and truly on. On the flip side, you simply cannot help but admire the swashbuckling tactics that Guardiola has employed throughout his career. The best thing though? These two will be battling for a while yet, and I’m already looking towards next season’s Manchester derby.