Guardiola admits praise from Bielsa left him feeling 'weird'

Pep Guardiola admits praise from Marcelo Bielsa left him feeling ‘weird’ and ‘overwhelmed’ after the Leeds boss described the Premier League leaders as ‘magical’ ahead of clash

  • Manchester City are closing in on winning the Premier League title
  • City host Leeds United in Saturday’s 12.30pm kick-off at the Etihad Stadium
  • Pep Guardiola also admits delight over Kevin de Bruyne’s new deal at the club

Pep Guardiola admitted to feeling ‘overwhelmed’ and ‘weird’ after Marcelo Bielsa’s effusive praise of the Manchester City manager.

The Leeds United boss classed City as ‘magical’ earlier this week and maintained Guardiola’s element of tactical surprise sets him apart from the rest.

Guardiola looked a little uncomfortable when Bielsa’s words were put to him ahead of the pair’s meeting at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (left) admits he was overwhelmed following recent praise from Leeds United counterpart Marcelo Bielsa

City and Leeds battled to a 1-1 Premier League draw at Elland Road back in early October

‘I’m overwhelmed, it feels weird,’ the Catalan said. ‘He’s a huge competitor. He’s the most honest person. He doesn’t say anything for the media – it’s for himself so I’m overwhelmed, everyone knows the respect and admiration.

‘Always he’ll be in my heart and I think “wow – I don’t deserve it”. If there’s one person you can search to find the secrets it’s him. I’m not going to try to be weak after these words because they (Leeds) can do whatever they want.

‘I know how tough it will be at 12.30 but hopefully we’ll be prepared. We are three games from being champions and this is the chance for another step.’

Kevin de Bruyne signed a new four-year-contract at City this week to take his stay at the club to 10 years as he commits his best playing years to the Premier League leaders

De Bruyne is arguably City’s most important player and was man of the match in the club’s 2-1 Champions League victory over Borussia Dortmund this week – getting on the score sheet

City announced that talisman Kevin De Bruyne signed a new four-year contract on Wednesday – with the Belgian set to become the latest star to remain at the club for a full decade.

‘If the club is satisfied, and Kevin is satisfied, then I am satisfied,’ Guardiola added. ‘Congratulations to Kevin, his family and Man City, because they are the reason why he stays here.

‘We are delighted. I can talk for myself… all of you know my opinion (of the club) I’m here five years and I will be for two more in principle, if the situation is going well.

‘The club helps us and I’m glad that the important players can continue when all the clubs in the world would like him. It’s a big compliment to Manchester City.’

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