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Manager Star Wars; Top Rivalries in Football Management – Part II

Manager Star Wars; Top Rivalries in Football Management – Part II

Our final part in this series examines two more great managerial rivalries. When they next meet, will you be watching?

Pep Guardiola and Jürgen Klopp

When Pep Guardiola first arrived in Germany to manage Bayern Munich, the media were obsessed with how he was going to transform German football, because of what he achieved with Barcelona.

After a 2-4 loss to Klopp’s Dortmund the first time they met, Guardiola then started to dominate the Bundesliga. He won the 2013/2014 league title which included the double over Dortmund, on top of beating them in the German Cup final. However, Klopp got his revenge as he knocked Bayern out in the semi-final of the German Cup the following season. This would be the last time the two would meet in Germany as Klopp left Dortmund for Liverpool at the end of the 2014/2015 season.

Klopp had just over half a season to settle in at Liverpool before Guardiola arrived at Manchester City. This would be the scene for their rivalry to escalate to a point where the whole world wanted to watch Liverpool play Manchester City!

José Mourinho and Antonio Conte

José Mourinho and Antonio Conte appear to hate each other. The feud began when Mourinho criticised Conte for what he felt was an excessive celebration during Chelsea’s 4-0 victory over Manchester United in 2016. In 2017-18, José teased Conte by suggesting that he didn’t need to behave like a “clown” on the touchline to show his passion. Conte’s retort was that José was suffering from senile dementia.

Current rumours in the press are that Conte could return to the Premier League to manage beleaguered Arsenal. Mourinho has left England to manage Roma in Italy. Therefore, their rivalry is unlikely to be resumed any time soon. However, when it is, be sure to tune in as the action between the managers could be as interesting as anything on the pitch!

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