Man City 'may have the greatest manager of all time' in Guardiola

By Sports Desk April 26, 2021

Pep Guardiola may be remembered as the greatest manager of all time but will not want to leave Manchester City without winning the Champions League, says Gary Neville.

City defeated Tottenham 1-0 at Wembley Stadium on Sunday to lift the EFL Cup for a fourth successive season under the Spaniard, while a third Premier League title of his reign looks a certainty – they hold a 10-point lead at the summit with just five games remaining.

Guardiola arrived in England following hugely successful spells in charge of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, winning the league on three occasions at each club.

However, according to former Manchester United defender Neville, the impact of the former Spain international goes well beyond just what he has achieved with his own teams.

"You just have to recognise Manchester City's outstanding football, the outstanding achievement of winning this trophy four times on the bounce," Neville said on his podcast for Sky Sports.

"Pep Guardiola has an outstanding record in cup competitions, it's 14 victories and one defeat in 15 finals, it's absolutely out of this world. The football they play is magnificent, it really is.

"I think Manchester City may have the greatest manager of all time and we'll look back in 10, 15, 20 years' time… just the way he has infiltrated countries, dominated football but also influenced others, I don't think I've ever seen it.

"You look at how he's won in three different countries, he's now dominating in this country – he's going to win the league title in the next few weeks, that's three in five years and these are massive achievements."

Yet while Guardiola has dominated domestically with City, Champions League glory has eluded him, as it did with Bayern.

He won the competition twice with Barca – in 2009 and then again in 2011 – but has never made it beyond the last eight with City prior to this season, with Paris Saint-Germain standing in their way of a place in the final for the first time in the club's history.

"The big one is the Champions League and it's a huge couple of weeks coming up against Paris Saint-Germain because if they were to win that, then they would have a great chance," Neville said.

"That would be the cherry on the icing on the top of the cake of Guardiola's reign because I don't think he can leave without winning it. It would feel incomplete if he left this country without winning the Champions League.

"I know it happened in Germany but here, Man City will give him the time to do it and it almost feels like he has to so he can say that the job is done."

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