The hotly anticipated pre-season meeting between Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City has been cancelled.
Mourinho vs Guardiola is set to be a standout rivalry in this season’s Premier League, with the two managers in close proximity for the first time since their days in charge of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
The International Champions Cup offered fans a first glimpse at the latest installment of their running battle, but torrential rain in Beijing has rendered the pitch at the Bird’s Nest Stadium unplayable.
Fans must now wait until September 10 for the first Manchester derby of the Premier League season at Old Trafford to see the star bosses go head-to-head.
United boss Mourinho was openly critical of the playing surface in China ahead of the game, saying his players would be fortunate to avoid injury.
“The pitch is very bad and the condition of my players is more important than results,” he said.
“We cannot just run away and disappear and not play, so we have to play and try to be lucky.”
Due to recent weather events, tournament organisers & participating clubs have decided to cancel tonight’s International Champions Cup game.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 25, 2016
Both managers moved to calm passions ahead of the pre-season contest, each insisting they would have no problem shaking the other’s hand, after their rivalry in El Clasico became increasingly bitter with those games often characterised by on-pitch melees and touchline bickering.
Guardiola had commented on their relationship: “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.”