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'We share a lot of the same values' - Mauricio on Pep and City

01 October 2016|Tottenham Hotspur

Derby rivals on the pitch and in the technical area in Barcelona, Mauricio Pochettino and Pep Guardiola lock horns for the first time in four years when we play host to Manchester City on Sunday.

The former internationals square up again at the pinnacle of the Premier League. City top the table with six wins out of six under Guardiola’s revolution at the Etihad while we’re tucked in behind in second, also unbeaten.

The pair were regular combatants in the Barcelona-Espanyol rivalry on the pitch, with Mauricio’s time at Espanyol (1994-2000 and then 2004-06) running alongside Guardiola’s at Barca (1990-2001).

Below: Mauricio speaks to Spurs TV


Guardiola took over the coaching reins at the Nou Camp in 2008 (until 2012) and Mauricio at Espanyol’s Cornella-El Prat in 2009 (until 2012). Mauricio won his first derby in 2009.

Now they meet again at the Lane. “It’s a very exciting game for everyone,” said Mauricio. “They are top of the table, we are second. It’s a fantastic opportunity to enjoy this game.

“We know Pep is an unbelievable manager, one of the best in the world and it’s a great opportunity for us, a good challenge to compete with one of the best teams in England and we’re all excited.

“We shared a lot of moments together when we played against each other and then the same as manager. We’ve shared some fantastic moments and now we repeat those moments again in England.

Below: The pair meet as coaches in the Barcelona derby in 2010


“It’s a great, great opportunity to see him and the staff as well because Mikael Arteta is a good friend, Lorenzo Buenaventura is another friend, the doctor, Eduardo Mauri is one of my best friends in Barcelona – all the the staff are my friends! It’s a good opportunity to see all of them.

“It’s about football, that’s most important. Guardiola has a great philosophy of football, to enjoy football, to play along the grass, like us. I think we share a lot of values on the pitch.”

Knowing what City and Guardiola bring to the table this season, would Mauricio look at doing anything differently?

“We approach this match the same,” he said. “We analyse every opponent, each one is different, but we always try to play in our way, that’s the most important thing. We always need to know about our opponents but at the end, our approach is the same.

“It’s an important game but it’s only the beginning of the season. It’s true we want to win and that we will need to be at our best because we play against a team that is one of the best in England so far, but there are a lot of games to play.”