Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes he has become a better manager from watching his Chelsea counterpart Thomas Tuchel.
Having won 31 trophies in his glittering career, former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola is one of the preeminent managers of his generation but Tuchel famously got the better of him in last season’s Champions League final.
Guardiola, 50, feels he can learn much from studying the way the 48-year-old German operates.
The Spaniard said: “He is so creative, one of the few managers I learn from to become a better manager myself. He is excellent in all departments.
“Since he was at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and here, I have always enjoyed watching his teams, the way he is playing and his approach.
“I think he dignifies and makes world football better. When you find a manager that is always positive in the way they play it is good.”
Guardiola comes up against Tuchel’s Chelsea side again in a top-of-the-table Premier League clash at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.
Champions City can extend their lead over their closest challengers to 13 points with victory in the lunchtime fixture.
City produced an outstanding performance to win 1-0 when the sides met at Stamford Bridge in September but Guardiola expects a different contest this time around.
Guardiola, who will return to bench after missing last week’s FA Cup win at Swindon following a positive Covid-19 test, said: “It was months ago. Every game is completely different.
“The performance was really good, we minimised the champions of Europe when they had all players fit and there.
“It was really exceptional, but in that moment we were below them. We had to get points.
“Our commitment with and without the ball was exceptional. We won with a short margin and we could have scored much more goals.
“The victory was nice but tomorrow will be completely different. They will change the approach, like the Chelsea manager said. They know they have to get points to be still there.”
City were also without seven senior players at Swindon due to the impact of a recent coronavirus outbreak at the club. Some will be available to return but others have since tested positive and have been withdrawn. The club have not revealed who has been affected.
Despite the outbreak, City are still in a strong position with their form having remained impressive, and postponements avoided, throughout the recent wave of infections.
Guardiola, however, has detected a drop-off in the level of performance.
He said: “The last two games were not the best games we’ve played.
“Football is a constant evolution. There are periods that you are playing good and the key is to sustain that as long as possible.
“That is what we have to do but there are tests ahead of us. They are champions of Europe, an excellent team in all departments.
“It is another test, another game to try to win, to make three points and come back in our best way.”