Bayern Munich and Netherlands winger Arjen Robben has expressed his excitement at the “interesting” prospect of seeing Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola go up against eachother once again.
Mourinho and Guardiola will meet on English soil for the first time on September 10, as the Spaniard’s side travel to Old Trafford for what could be a season-defining Manchester derby.
Robben has worked with both managers during his career, winning the Premier League with Mourinho at Chelsea in 2005 and the Bundesliga with Guardiola on several occasions.
The 32-year-old heaped praise on both managers, and expressed his enthusiasm at seeing them go head to head once again.
“When I worked with Mourinho I was still young and it was my first club abroad. With Pep, I was already older and it was different,” he said.
“Both have been interesting and suited me in my career.”
“They are both big coaches, I worked with each of them for three years.
“They are top professionals and they will bring their own style of play and mentality to the team. I’m convinced of that.
“It will be interesting to follow. But it’s not only about Pep vs Mou, but also about the players on the pitch in the end.”
Very rarely has a managerial rivalry in football been so tantalising. The two biggest managers in the world are set preside over one of the fiercest rivalries in sport, a match-up so perfect and reminiscent of a blockbuster film that it will be sure to consume the entire footballing world.
The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini in 2013 led to the Manchester derby losing some of its famous verve and tribalism, manifested most clearly in the drab 0-0 draw between Louis van Gaal and Manuel Pellegrini last October. But make no mistake, the Manchester derby – and indeed the Premier League in general – is about to explode into life with these two going head to head once more.