The former Barcelona boss believes his side’s next opponents are arguably the best club outfit there is at the moment
Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola described Premier League title rivals Liverpool as ‘probably the best team in the world right now’ ahead of their crunch Premier League clash on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have not yet lost domestically this term and find themselves six points clear at the top of the table.
However, last season City took four points from the Reds, a return that proved decisive as they pipped Liverpool – who lost just once in the league – to the title by a solitary point.
Guardiola described the triumph as one of the greatest of his career and recognised the difficulty of playing at Anfield – a stadium where Liverpool have not lost any of their previous 45 league games.
“As a manager, I said last season when we won the league, they’re the best contender I ever faced in my career to win this league,” he said.
“It was the biggest achievement, or one of the biggest achievements, as a club. It remains the same. Probably right now they’re the strongest team in the world.
“They are an exceptional team. Of course, the history is there for itself. It’s something special, I think more for the quality of the team of what they do, quality of players they have, quality of manager they have, I believe more in that, in the team, than the scenario [atmosphere at Liverpool].
“Right now it’s [Anfield] one of the toughest ones, right now in Europe it’s the toughest stadiums to go there.”
Unbeaten Liverpool can open up a nine-point gap over City with victory on home soil, but Guardiola insists defeat will not mean the end of their title aspirations.
“I don’t know to be honest, I think in November it never ends. I think we have a lot of games still to play,” he added.
“My experience in sport is you have to play until the end, are we going to win Champions League? Your favourite question! I don’t know the answer.
“They lost one game last season, this season they are unbeaten, so I think they won’t lose many, but the season is long.”
It was put to Guardiola that his rivalry with Klopp could potentially stand up to the one between legendary Manchester United and Arsenal bosses Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger during the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“Well, I will wait [to see] if my hair grows in the next 20 years because they were more than 20 years together,” he said.
“I think we cannot compare anyone with the rivals of Ferguson and Wenger. Absolute legends in their clubs, they were more than one or two decades there.”