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Pep Guardiola wanted to play alongside only one Man Utd legend as Man City boss was simply in awe of him

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted that there is one Manchester United legend that he wished he could have played alongside in his career.

Pep Guardiola had a prolific playing career at the Camp Nou, having played under legendary Dutchman Johan Cruyff – his mentor – at Barcelona in the 1990s.

The 53-year-old Spaniard lifted six La Liga titles, two Copa del Reys, a European Cup and a Cup Winners’ Cup as a player at Barcelona before his club exit in 2001.

Following a successful playing career, Guardiola’s success hit the next level as a manager and the former Barcelona midfielder has enjoyed incredible success.

Guardiola, who is considered one of the best managers of all time, has hoovered up silverware in Spain, Germany and England after a prolific career in the dugout.

The Barcelona legend led the Spanish club to three La Liga titles, two Champions Leagues and two Copa del Reys before his exit from the Camp Nou in 2012.

Guardiola went on to lift three consecutive Bundesliga titles and two German Cups at Bayern Munich before arriving at Manchester United’s crosstown rivals in 2016.

The former Barcelona boss is a huge admirer of Sir Alex Ferguson and was even tipped to replace him at Old Trafford after the Scotsman’s retirement in 2013.


Guardiola locked horns with Sir Alex Ferguson in two separate Champions League finals, with the Spaniard’s Barcelona teams coming out on top on both occasions.

READ MORE: Pep Guardiola claims Sir Alex Ferguson ‘always’ had the same three-word message over one thing in football

Soccer - World Football Challenge 2011 - Manchester United v FC Barcelona
Photo by Matthew Ashton/AMA/Corbis via Getty Images

Guardiola in awe at Man Utd legend

Pep Guardiola’s first Champions League title as a manager came in 2009 with Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Manchester United at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.

Fast-forward to 2011 and former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson crossed paths with ex-Bayern Munich and Barcelona boss Guardiola in the Champions League final.

Guardiola once again walked away with the ultimate bragging rights, with his Barcelona side earning a convincing 3-1 win over United at Wembley in 2011.

Despite getting the better of Ferguson two times, the Manchester City manager admired some of the players that the iconic Scotsman had in his squad.

One United legend who featured in both Champions League finals was none other than Paul Scholes, who is considered one of the best midfielders of all time.

Guardiola had played against Paul Scholes as a player and the former United and England midfielder was someone he would have “loved” to have played alongside.

“Out of everyone at Manchester United, I would pick out Scholes – he is the best midfielder of his generation,” he said in 2011, as per Goal.

“I would have loved to have played alongside him.”

READ MORE: Paul Scholes hears incredible Sir Alex Ferguson story for first time after disagreement over one Man Utd legend

Guardiola’s praise for Man Utd legend Scholes

Scholes spent his entire playing career at Old Trafford – across two spells – and was widely hailed for his midfield influence in Ferguson’s legendary teams of the past.

The 49-year-old ex-United midfielder hoovered up the major silverware at the Red Devils, including 11 Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies.

Scholes initially retired in 2011 before he made a U-turn and returned for United, with the former Red Devils star calling it time on his career again in 2013.

Guardiola has spoken highly of Scholes and even picked the footballer-turned-pundit ahead of Chelsea legend Frank Lampard and Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard.

Speaking to United legend Rio Ferdinand in 2022, Guardiola told the Five YouTube channel: “All respect to Frank [Lampard] [and] to Steven [Gerrard] but Paul Scholes is my favourite one.

“I love it. I think he had everything, but the other two, come on, Frank and Steven Gerrard changed this. Paul Scholes is my favourite.”

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