Sunday night’s blockbuster clash between Man City and Liverpool was undoubtedly the most anticipated tie this season in the Premier League. With just a point separating the two teams, the feeling was that City were the more disadvantaged going into the game. Going into the December break in 2021, it looked like Pep Guardiola’s men were going to run away with the title this season following a comfortable lead at the top. But a loss to Tottenham followed by a 0-0 stalemate at Crystal Palace, ruffled a few feathers for the Mancunians and gave Liverpool the opportunity they were looking for.
With Sunday’s game finishing 2-2, it has not helped either side as this increases the pressure for the upcoming PL games. Once again, this would have been a blow to City as they also have an FA Cup semi-final to contest against Liverpool as well as a second leg QF tie with Atletico Madrid coming up which they lead just 1-0 on aggregate.
It is no secret that out of the three trophies, the Champions League is the one most sought after by Guardiola. Despite being a serial winner at City and Bayern domestically, the Spaniard has not won the competition since clinching victory with Barcelona in 2011. With just a year left in his City contract, he would be looking to guide the club to a first UCL triumph before looking for other options.
But despite these pressures both short term and long term, the City coach was completely calm and composed following the draw at the Etihad Stadium. When approached by the NBC Sports contingent pitchside after the game, Pep had the presence of mind to set aside the focus on the game and congratulate them for USMNT qualifying for the Qatar World Cup in November.
One of the presenters quizzed Pep about his overall emotions following the close of the game to which the Spaniard replied, “Oh, first of all, congratulations, United States of America qualified for the World Cup!”
The flock of US journalists were extremely pleased to hear Pep’s sudden praise as this year marked the return of the nation to the tournament after missing out on qualification for the 2018 edition in Russia.
Along with the reporters, fans of the USMNT too were excited to hear Pep’s comments with some fans even suggesting that the Spaniard should be the one to lead the team out in 2026 when they co-host the World Cup with Mexico and Canada.
If Pep wants a real challenge after Man City he will come coach the USMNT to a World Cup instead of Brazil.— Griffin Giarmo (@g_giarmo_3) April 10, 2022
The ex-Barca manager has been tight-lipped when asked about his future post-2023 in interviews but he has been rumoured to be interested in taking over as the coach for a national team in the near future, with Brazil being one the favourites to have approached Pep’s agent already.
Back in 2013 too Pep was linked to a national team job before retiring during his time at Bayern Munich and coincidentally USA was indeed one of the teams in the conversation, as per a report published by Spanish outlet Marca.
Nine years later, a switch to a national side is looking likely now and USA fans would be absolutely praying for the Spaniard to take over their team, especially after his positive comments on Sunday.