Sarri: “Guardiola is the best”

GENOA, ITALY - OCTOBER 25: Coach of SSC Napoli Maurizio Sarri gestures during the Serie A match between Genoa CFC and SSC Napoli at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on October 25, 2017 in Genoa, Italy. (Photo by Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images)

Sarri’s Napoli are about to face Manchester City at home in the Champions League group stage and the Italian spoke about their upcoming opponent – and he thinks that Pep Guardiola and his side are “the best in Europe”.

Maurizio Sarri wants to surprise the guests but he knows that there is a tough task ahead of his team – Manchester City managed to beat Napoli 2-1 at home in the last match and the English side are looking for their fourth consecutive victory in this competition. And the Italian coach, who is being compared to Guardiola, thinks that the Spaniard is “a legend”.

The former coach of Empoli had only words of praise for Guardiola as he said, according to ESPN“He’s the best around — an untouchable legend. I have my own ideas, but I haven’t won anything so I can’t be compared to anybody. If I were to quit now, nobody would remember me because I’ve not won anything. We’re talking about one of those coaches who have changed the way we view football. It’s a different level. They are the best team in Europe, coached by the best coach in Europe.”

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He wants to learn from the last fixture as his side were 2-0 down just after 13 minutes of play: “Maybe we should ask UEFA if they can keep them off the field until the 21st minute. They were outstanding at the start of the reverse fixture. We’re up against something huge and they are often two goals to the good after half an hour, so we’ve got to keep things tight because they’re not used to that.”

The Italian urges his players to be fully focused from the very beginning: “The start [of the game] is City’s strength. We’ve got to get straight into the game because we can create difficulty, as long as we play an extraordinary game defensively.”