Pep Guardiola has hailed Roberto De Zerbi as the most influential manager of the past two decades.
Manchester City, under the leadership of Guardiola, are all set to take on De Zerbi’s Brighton at the Amex Stadium this Wednesday.
With the Premier League title already in their bag, the team is now focusing on the upcoming FA Cup and Champions League finals.
In a stunning turn of events this season, De Zerbi has taken over the reins from Graham Potter and led Brighton to a remarkable qualification for Europe next season. With just two games left to play, the team needs only a single point to secure their spot in the highly coveted Europa League.
Despite missing that crucial element, their remarkable goal difference against their final day rivals Aston Villa is likely to secure their exemption from the Europa Conference League.
In recent weeks, Guardiola has made no secret of his admiration for De Zerbi, even after City’s hard-fought 3-1 victory at the Etihad earlier this season.
Ahead of Wednesday’s match, Guardiola showered De Zerbi with his utmost admiration, likening his Brighton team to a one-of-a-kind culinary experience, comparable to that of a Michelin-starred restaurant.
“There is no team playing the way they play, it’s unique. I have the feeling when he arrived the impact he would have in the Premier League would be great – I didn’t expect them to do it in this short space of time.
He creates 20 or 25 chances per game, better by far than most opponents, he monopolises the ball in a way it hasn’t been for a long time.
“Everybody is involved, the keeper is like a holding midfielder. If you don’t play at a high level he can do whatever he wants against you. They deserve completely the compliments and the success they have. One of the teams I try to learn a lot from.
“Is unique, like Michelin star restaurant, unique. In Catalonia, there was El Bulli with Ferran Adria, the best cook for many years and he changed the cuisine and Brighton are playing with something special. The way they move and it’s an incredible challenge to prepare for the two finals.”
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