Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has called Pep Guardiola ‘the best coach in the world’ as he prepares to face his Manchester City in the Champions League in February.
Earlier this week Guardiola had said he “dreamed as a player to play with” Zidane as he reacted to the round of 16 draw.
The pair have never managed opposing teams in a competitive game during their coaching careers, which have seen them win five Champions League trophies between them.
“I played against him as a player. I respect him a lot, as a player and a coach,” Zidane said.
“I think he’s the best coach in the world. He’s shown it throughout his career,” he added.
Madrid will host City in the first leg at the Bernabeu on February 26, before the return fixture at the Etihad Stadium on March 17.
Zidane also ruled out a formal complaint about the failure to award Madrid two penalties for challenges on defender Raphael Varane in their 0-0 draw with Barcelona in Wednesday’s Clasico at Camp Nou.
The club had criticized the decisions on its website and on social media, where they wrote: “Neither the referee nor the VAR saw the two penalties on Varane.”
“We know it’s a plus for football. It can improve, of course. We have to be in favour of that. Otherwise, everyone can make mistakes,” Zidane said.
Madrid host Athletic Bilbao at the Bernabeu on Sunday in their last game of 2019, looking to keep pace with Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table.