Liverpool may have succeeded Manchester City as Premier League champions this week, yet Jurgen Klopp thinks Pep Guardiola remains the world’s leading coach.
City’s 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Thursday confirmed it will be Klopp’s Reds ending the 2019-20 campaign at the top of the table – the first time they have won English football’s top flight in 30 years.
Guardiola’s side had won the title with 100 and 98 points respectively in the previous two seasons, but this time around they find themselves 23 behind Klopp’s runaway leaders having lost eight games – as many as ninth-placed Arsenal – in the Premier League.
Klopp’s stock is growing as he added the Premier League trophy to the Champions League won by Liverpool last term, with former Barcelona boss Guardiola having so far come up short in Europe’s premier club competition with both Bayern Munich and City.
However, Klopp still views his rival as he finest tactician around.
Asked if he must now be considered the world’s greatest coach, Klopp told Bild: “I can’t do anything with the title ‘best coach in the world’.
“But I know that together with the whole trainer team we are very good coaches. But I think Pep Guardiola is the best coach of the world.”
Prior to this season, Klopp had been the nearly man with Liverpool as he ended up on the losing side in the EFL Cup and Europa League finals in 2016, and the Champions League final two years later.
However, Klopp believes continuity has been key having seen Dortmund – a side that he took to back-to-back Bundesliga titles between 2010 and 2012 – finish seventh in his final campaign in charge after a number of his leading players departed.
“I didn’t do much differently than before the lost finals in previous years,” Klopp added.
“We made a lot of right decisions together. If I have a talent, it is probably that I can bring extremely good people together. For example, my coaching staff is exceptional, but there is no single recipe.
“It is also important that we have continued to develop. The problem in Dortmund was that our team fell apart. That didn’t happen here and now the team has been exceptionally constant for two and a half years.
“We play every game as if it were the last one because we have nothing else to do on weekends.”