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Guardiola reminisces on how Carlo Ancelloti helped his managerial career

Pep Guardiola – one of the most successful and respected coaches in world football – was full of admiration for Carlo Ancelotti as he revealed the Italian offered him a helping hand when he began as a manager.

Guardiola till today enjoys a warm relationship with the Everton boss and revealed that he was even allowed to observe some of Ancelloti’s AC Milan training sessions at the beginning of his own coaching career.

Nonetheless, despite the Spaniard hoping to get the better of his opposite number even as the two men lock horns on Saturday when Manchester City travel to Merseyside for an FA Cup quarter-final, he remains struck by the Italian’s kindness.

“He has been manager of the best clubs in Europe – Milan, Juventus, Napoli, PSG, Madrid,” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“All places he had success. I know people talk about him as a manager and a person. He took care of me when I started. I visited him when he was at Milan.

“He allowed me to see one or two training sessions as well. We spoke a little bit about football and life, nothing special.

“Always off the pitch he is so gentle. I admire him a lot.”

Reciprocally, Ancelotti heaped praise on Guardiola’s side following City’s 3-1 Premier League win at Goodison Park last month, with the Toffees’ chief claiming City were ‘almost impossible’ to beat.

However, compliments and sentiments aside, the Catalan is leaving nothing to chance and taking nothing for granted as the Cityzens bid to reach the last four of the FA Cup.

“Different games, competition,” he added. “It’s a final tomorrow, a few weeks ago it wasn’t a final.

“Away, you have to realise how they play, how we can find spaces to attack, control set pieces because they have a master with Sigurdsson as a taker and tough players like Keane and Mina and Calvert-Lewin.

“The quality of players are there. They’re doing well in the league, fighting for qualification for the Champions League.

“That shows how good they have done this season.”

Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia