Sunday 22 September 2019

Man City boss Pep Guardiola says he ‘can't be f***ed’ with reading about Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola shared the spoils from a draw at Anfield (Martin Rickett/PA)
Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola shared the spoils from a draw at Anfield (Martin Rickett/PA) Newsdesk Newsdesk

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has joked that he does not read because when he does he invariably ends up reading about Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp, and he “can’t be f***ed with that”.

Speaking in a lecture at Liverpool University this week, Guardiola answered questions on a range of different subjects, from the political situation in Catalonia to the nature of his job in charge of City and the Premier League in general.

Asked what books he enjoys reading, Guardiola drew laughs by replying: “I don't read. I start reading and before I know it I am reading about Jurgen Klopp. I can't be f***ed with that.”

On a more serious note, Guardiola reiterated that despite his remarkable success as a coach in Spain and Germany, winning in England poses a unique challenge.

“It's the toughest one,” he insisted. “For the amount of games, for the weather, the referees saying play, play, play. There are many contenders [to win the title]. No other country has that.

“It would be unfair to say that though. There are many things in Germany and Spain that have better things than here.

“I am a better manager now than I was at Barcelona and Bayern Munich. It's the most unpredictable league I've been in. You watch Match of the Day. The people are crazy here compared to other countries and it's good.”

Guardiola also revealed that he still harbours the ambition to coach at international level. “Sooner or later it will happen,” he said, before jokingly adding: “I'll play more golf that way. Now I don't have time to. If an international team knocks on the door we'll see.”

Despite being widely perceived as a football obsessive, Guardiola insisted when asked about the current political situation in Catalonia that he has more important priorities.

“? I'm a citizen before I'm a manager. I prefer to be a father than a manager. I'd rather have a better society for my children than win the Premier League. You have to take care of democracy.”

Referencing the yellow ribbon that he regularly wears in solidarity with the Catalan independence movement, he added: “There are many different ribbons in society, it's part of society. 80 percent of people in Catalonia don't want the people in jail [political prisoners].

“In Catalonia now there is a situation that is not easy. The president is in exile, the second president is in exile. Ten politicians are in exile. They can travel round Europe but if they got to Spain they will be in jail. It's not about independence.

“People fear going to jail, not just politicians, social activists and singers too. It's about letting Catalans express their thoughts on their own future. It's like in Scotland. Imagine if Alex Salmond was in jail. It's unfair.”

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