Manchester City boss Guardiola gave a sarcastic response to a question earlier this week asking whether he tries to be too clever in Champions League fixtures and other games where there is lots on the line. He joked that he “loves to overthink” and would “create stupid tactics again” ahead of the quarter-final first leg against Atletico Madrid, which City won 1-0 on Tuesday.
Klopp felt some reporters failed to relay that Guardiola was being ironic having been on the receiving end of a similar incident in his own Champions League press conference. The Liverpool manager quipped he “couldn’t understand a word” of what Luis Diaz told him about Benfica, the Reds’ quarter-final opponents whom the Colombian winger knows well from his time at Porto.
Klopp was quizzed about Guardiola’s comments ahead of Liverpool’s Premier League clash at City this Sunday and responded: “It was ironic. Did you never realise? I heard this week in Ecuador people made a story out of me saying I didn’t understand Luis Diaz.
“We have really a responsibility on this planet. If you want to talk to us [managers] then do me a favour and help us [by providing context]. He (Guardiola) said ironically ‘I overthink things’ or ‘I like overthinking things’. Pep is the best coach in the world, I think we all would agree on that.
“And it might be a coincidence that it didn’t work out so far in the Champions League or whatever, but the things he won, the football he plays – if anybody doubts him then I have no idea how that could happen.”
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Guardiola notoriously came under fire for alleged overthinking after City lost last season’s Champions League final 1-0 to Chelsea. The Spaniard chose to leave an in-form Rodri out of the starting XI, leaving his side without a defensive midfielder.
But Klopp insisted all managers “think a lot” and are therefore guilty of “making mistakes” as he continued his steadfast defence of rival Guardiola. He added: “No, we all think a lot, that’s the reason why we sometimes make mistakes and sometimes we find out the right things to do.
“But in football you know all that just exactly after the game and not before, and that’s why we try to imagine what could happen, what could help, what could we do which makes us more independent of the opponent and all these kinds of things.”