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Jurgen Klopp says Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is the 'best manager in the world'

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Jurgen Klopp says his rivalry with Pep Guardiola only occurs on the pitch rather than off it

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists his Manchester City counterpart Pep Guardiola is the "best manager in the world" and says he has no problem finishing second to the Spaniard.

The pair have been challenging each other at the top of the leagues in both England and Germany since Guardiola arrived at Bayern Munich in 2013.

Klopp's Dortmund and Liverpool sides have never won a league title during that time, but the German does not view his relationship with Guardiola as a typical rivalry.

He said: "I'm lucky that I can say that my teams were at least close to his teams because I've said a lot of times, I think he is the best manager in the world.

"What he is doing with his team is incredible. The way they play, I really like to watch.

"Pep and I, we are different, so our teams mirror our character. He is much finer than I am as a person so he is the gentleman and I look how I look on the touchline. Probably a bit more intense maybe.

"There's no rivalry left or right of football. We respect each other lots but on the pitch we want to beat them, that's normal.

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"At the end of the season in most of the seasons he has still won the league. In Germany always, and in England so far as well. That's how it is but I can easily live with that because I have no problem with being second even when I want to be first."

Liverpool currently sit 10 points clear at the top of the Premier League, 14 ahead of City, meaning Klopp is well set to finally triumph over Guardiola.

Mohamed Salah scores Liverpool's second goal against Man City
Image: Mohamed Salah scored for Liverpool as they beat City 3-1 in November

With a league title looking increasingly likely and alongside last season's Champions League success, Liverpool's current team has the potential to become an era-defining outfit, yet Klopp is unsure they will go on to dominate for years.

He said: "I don't think that something like that is possible still, this kind of domination in periods.

"It's not too long ago that we had the Barcelona of Pep Guardiola dominating pretty much everything.

"Man City dominating the Premier League for the last years since Pep is here at least. They are incredible and they have to fight each week.

"We don't think about ourselves like this. We don't think that somebody has to name us on the same level with any Ajax team, any United teams or other teams in the world.

"We just want to play the best football we can play and we want to have the best time together we can have."

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Klopp says European clubs should value the Club World Cup more highly ahead of Saturday's final against Flamengo

'Liverpool not constant winners'

The Reds will miss their Premier League fixture this weekend as they are currently out in Doha at the FIFA Club World Cup, where the will play Flamengo in Saturday's final.

Klopp has put emphasis on the competition, fielding a young side in their Carabao Cup defeat to Aston Villa on Tuesday in order to send a strong squad to Qatar.

The 52-year-old would love another piece of silverware to add to his collection as he is underwhelmed Liverpool have only won one major trophy during his tenure.

Jurgen Klopp
Image: Roberto Firmino scored a late winner in the semi-final against Monterrey on Wednesday

Klopp said: "We didn't win a lot. We tried a lot and won so far one competition.

"We tried really often and that's it. Maybe people like the people who try constantly and that's what we are. We don't see ourselves as constant winners, we see ourselves as constant challengers.

"My relationship to my players is very close and I expect a lot from them, but appreciate a lot what they do.

"If you win a game it's about the players, if you lose a game it's about me because my message was not right or they didn't understand what I say. But that's not their fault, it's my fault because I have to say it in a way that everybody can understand it.

"I just celebrate with them after the game because I respect their effort. If we lose or draw and I see how much they invest in the game, it's still worth saying thank you for that."

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