Guardiola said: “Jurgen Klopp’s teams helped me to be a better manager. He put me on another level; to think about it, to prove myself, to be a better manager. That is the reason why I am still in this business.”
Guardiola is expecting another strong title challenge from Liverpool this season.
“Since I arrived here – maybe not the first year – Liverpool were always there,” he said.
“The last four years, all the time, we were both there. It’s the biggest compliment that both clubs were there. But in the Premier League there are not just one or two, there are many teams who can fight for the league.”
City’s trip to Liverpool comes at the end of a tough week after away games at Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
Asked how intense the week had been, Guardiola said at a press conference: “Unbelievably – but the level has been so great these games and, despite the result in France, the performance was excellent.”
City claimed a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge but were beaten 2-0 in their Champions League clash in the French capital.
That Sunday’s fixture is now regarded as one of the biggest games in English football underlines the progress City have made in recent years, Guardiola feels.
He said: “For us it’s an honour to be a rival with Liverpool. Decades ago we weren’t rivals to them. For many years we have tried to compete with these legendary clubs so it’s an honour.”
City won at Anfield for the first time in 18 years last season. With the game played during the coronavirus lockdown, it was said at the time that the lack of fans may have helped City but Guardiola insists he would rather play at a full house.
He said: “I’m very pleased Anfield is full again and we can go there to play a game. It’s nice that the people are back and we can enjoy a fantastic atmosphere there. Hopefully we can handle it in a good way.”