Monday 1 July 2019 23:00, UK
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola believes Anfield is like "no other stadium in the world".
Talking about Barcelona's dramatic Champions League semi-final collapse, which saw them lose 4-0 on Merseyside after winning the first leg 3-0, Guardiola said the atmosphere created at Liverpool's ground was special and could make opponents feel "small".
Guardiola could draw on his own experience of being on the end of a heavy defeat under the lights at Anfield after his City side lost 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals in 2018.
"I thought they'd [Barcelona] score a goal at Anfield. And I am sure the players knew that Anfield is Anfield. The motto "This is Anfield" is no marketing spin," he told Catalonian publication Ara.
"There's something about it that you will find in no other stadium in the world. They score a goal and over the next five minutes you feel that you'll receive another four. You feel small and the rival players seem to be all over.
"We've all gone through what happened to Barca. They were laughing at me when we were losing 3-0 after the first 15-20 minutes of the quarter-final. It's a bugger of a ground and it's the sort of competition where one hand, one offside, Anfield … Next year it'll be Torino [Juventus] with [Maurizio] Sarri and Cristiano Ronaldo."
Guardiola also revealed that he does not support the idea of a European super league and insisted that it would "kill off" domestic divisions.
"They'd have to explain that to me, but I am not too keen on the idea," he said. "It would kill off the home leagues. If Barca and Madrid leave and no longer play Espanyol, who's going to buy that? La Liga will die.
"In England they are very clever about that sort of thing. Fourth Division matches draw big crowds. England will not allow the essence of local football to die out. Part of the Champions League's greatness is that you don't have a match every Sunday. A weekly game would make it unappealing.
"A Barca-Espanyol derby is a much-needed fixture in Barcelona city. And the more Catalan teams that play La Liga, the better. Let's not kill the home leagues: nobody wants to watch a match where the teams stand no chance of playing the European League."