Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s admiration of City ‘a complete honour’ says Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola has thanked Sir Jim Ratcliffe for ‘helping him do his job’ by stating his admiration for Manchester City.

New Manchester United co-owner Ratcliffe recently spoke of his ambition to knock neighbours City, and another of their rivals in Liverpool, “off their perch”.

Yet in doing so he conceded United had fallen well behind both of those clubs and admitted much could be learned from their success.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe
Sir Jim Ratcliffe completed his purchase of a stake in Manchester United last month (Simon Peach/PA)

Guardiola says such compliments are a source of pride and feed his continuing desire for success.

The City manager, whose side host United on Sunday, said: “I just say thank you so much.

“Sometimes they are more than the titles, the compliments of the personalities that make this country, like Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s comments. It is a complete honour for us.

“One can produce emotions and feelings for the players and our rivals. That helps to do our job. Thank you so much on behalf of all of us.

“But I am sure tomorrow they will try, one way or another, to inoculate the Man Utd players with the best performance to try to beat us.”

Phil Foden celebrates scoring against Manchester United
City will hope to maintain their recent superiority over United on Sunday (Martin Rickett/PA)

Considering their recent superiority over their neighbours, and United’s inconsistency this season, City are expected to come out on top but Guardiola is wary of the pitfalls of the fixture.

He said: “Do you remember when United went to Anfield this season? Last season it was 7-0.

“Remember the comments? How many goal are Liverpool going to score? It would be easy for Liverpool.

“What was the result? Liverpool didn’t win.

“It is United. The past is the past. Tomorrow it is 11 players with pride, with a manager – we cannot deny how good he has done in the past in Amsterdam – trying to do his best.

“It will be a tough game, another final for us. I know how difficult it will be.

“It has been more difficult here than at Old Trafford in our period together. We lost more (derby) games here than Old Trafford. We have to perform really well to do it.”

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