Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola called a truce with Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho as the pair prepare to renew their rivalry in the International Champions Cup.
For all the exciting football on the pitch in Spain, El Clasico clashes were often remembered for what happened off it between Barcelona’s Guardiola and Real Madrid’s Mourinho due to their hostile relationship.
Fans and pundits alike are relishing the opportunity to see Guardiola and Mourinho go head-to-head in the Premier League, with world football set to get a glimpse of the rivalry during Monday’s pre-season Manchester derby in Beijing.
But Guardiola told reporters: “It’s a friendly game. A really friendly game.”
When asked if he would shake Mourinho’s hand before the match, Guardiola said: “Of course. We are polite guys. Why not? Why should he not shake my hand? No reason why.
“He wants to win, I want to win, that’s all.”
City’s first game under Guardiola ended in a 1-0 loss to his former club Bayern Munich on Wednesday.
United have played two matches since Mourinho took control, defeating Wigan Athletic 2-0, while they were beaten 4-1 by a far fitter Borussia Dortmund outfit on Friday.
Guardiola, however, is not reading too much into United’s loss in Shanghai as Mourinho and Co. continue to work on transfers amid growing speculation of a blockbuster deal for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
“I saw the game against Borussia Dortmund and that’s all,” Guardiola added. “It’s too early to know how Manchester United will be.
“I’m pretty sure they will be stronger than the last years. With this manager and the good players they already have, I’m sure they are going to buy new payers, and they will be a strong team.”