Pochettino on his rivalry with Pep Guardiola

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Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

As two of England’s best teams vie for a place in the final four of the Champions League tomorrow, the tie between City and Spurs will also see the clash of two managers, both of whom made their names in Catalonia.

The pair have come up against each other several times, as players and managers. While Guardiola was appointed the manager of Barcelona at the start of the 08-09 season, Pochettino took over the reins at local rivals Espanyol just 6 months later.

Since then, while the Spaniard has managed some of the biggest clubs in the world, the Argentine’s career trajectory has seen him work his way up to become the manager of one of the biggest clubs in the Premier League.

Ahead of the second leg of the tie against City, Pochettino recalled his earlier meetings against Guardiola and said that it was a dream for him to come up against the Spaniard in the Champions League quarterfinals.

When asked if the rivalry between him and Guardiola served as extra motivation for the tie, the Argentine told Football.London, “No, it is not a motivation or bigger challenge.

“The challenge is that Guardiola is maybe the best or one of the best managers in the world. I think he won 24, 25, 26 trophies. We are talking about one of the most successful managers in the last 10 years.

“Of course I am an Espanyol fan, I support Espanyol, I play more than 10 years there, I coach them for nearly five years, he was in Barcelona nearly all his career as a player and then we start nearly in the same time our career as a coach, him in Barcelona and me in Espanyol.

“We are good friends in between, good friends in coaching teams like Mikel Arteta, all these people all good friends. It is the challenge, the motivation but at the same time it is nice to see them.

“We met a lot then in Barcelona as players and coaches and now in Manchester and London, playing in the quarter-final of the Champions League, it is a massive dream for me, maybe not so much for them.”

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