Pep Guardiola has hailed Roberto De Zerbi for his work at Brighton and said the Italian has turned the Seagulls into a ‘top club’.
Manchester City host Brighton in the Premier League this weekend with both teams looking to bounce back from a disappointing run of results.
Brighton secured a top-six finish in the Premier League last season, an achievement which secured European football for the first time in the club’s history.
Guardiola called De Zerbi one of the most influential coaches of the last 20 years last season and has again been full of praise for the Brighton boss.
“He’s a handsome guy. I admire him for the fact that it doesn’t matter for the team he plays,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.
“He’s proving you don’t need to be at top clubs where you can get the team to play the way you want. He is converting Brighton into a top club. So Caicedo and Mac Allister gone, Colwill too and they continue to play in a good level.”
Guardiola was asked whether there were similarities between the two coaches, but said he believes Brighton offer a unique style.
“We don’t play similarly. [Brighton] are unique in how they play. But we have some patterns, we are aggressive without the ball, high pressing, we want the ball like they do but the way they play is unique.”
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