English Premier League has made me stronger, Guardiola says

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Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola believes the competitive nature and sheer unpredictability of the English Premier League has presented him with the biggest challenge of his career.

Prior to his move to Manchester, Guardiola collected three Spanish La Liga titles and two UEFA Champions League trophies with FC Barcelona.

He then led Bayern Munich to three consecutive Bundesliga crowns in competitions dominated by very few teams.

However, the Spaniard said it felt like he needed to learn a whole new set of skills after arriving in England in 2016.

He was forced to cope with heavy fixture congestion and a title challenge from five other contenders.

“I am a better manager than I was in Germany, and I am a better manager now than I was at FC Barcelona by far, just for the fact of being there,” he said at the Peers Annual Lecture at Liverpool University.

“Now, I feel being here I am a better manager too, because I learned to handle this incredible league in many circumstances.

“It is the toughest one, for the amount of games, for the weather and the referees saying: `play (on), play (on), play (on)’ and the competitors, there are many.

“It is the only country that five or six (teams) can win the Premier League.”

Guardiola led Manchester City to the English Premier League title in record-breaking fashion last season, finishing on 100 points and 106 goals in 38 matches.

Manchester City also lifted the League Cup and Community Shield this year to take Guardiola’s tally to 24 major trophies.

And the Spaniard has admitted that transferring his skills to the international stage could one day come to fruition.

“Sooner or later, it will happen because every three days I would like to be involved, but a little bit more calm, play more golf,” he added.

“If I have a chance and some international team wants to come `knock, knock’. We will see.”(Reuters/NAN)

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