Pep Guardiola has played down his “rivalry” with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho ahead of the derby clash at Old Trafford.
Guardiola and Mourinho will partake in their first Manchester derby on Saturday, with both sides boasting a perfect start after three Premier League games.
Much of the build-up to the clash has surrounded the supposed rivalry between the two managers, who engaged in a bitter feud during their respective times in Spain.
Mourinho was manager of Real Madrid during Guardiola’s dominant reign as Barcelona boss, but the latter insists those problems are now behind them.
“I said it many times – I have a lot of respect for Jose Mourinho,” the Spaniard said on Friday. “I always try to learn from all of my colleagues – it’s the same with him. The rivalry is more from the media and we can’t control that.
“He was my coach, my assistant coach with Sir Bobby Robson. OK, the last period at Barcelona and Real Madrid was not easy for both of us but we met each other two, three weeks ago at the manager’s Premier League meeting. We spoke fluently with Ronald Koeman and Tony Pulis. It was correct, so that’s all.”