After an extremely busy window full of arrivals and departures, Manchester City are set to finally begin their pre-season tour on Thursday as they take on Liga MX side Club America at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The club have done immaculately well to replace the likes of Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Fernandinho with stalwart signings such as Erling Haaland, Julian Alvarez and Kalvin Philips.
Having won the Premier League last season, Pep Guardiola has only gone and strengthened his champion team once again who will now soon be in action in the US against Club America and Bayern Munich before meeting Liverpool in the Community Shield next month.
Ahead of their first pre-season fixture against America, Pep was full of praise for their opponents who are one of the biggest teams in the Mexican league. However, despite the initial compliments, it looks like the Spaniard went on to make a bizarre statement that has left football fans utterly confused.
In his press conference, the City coach said that “(Club) América is special, they play with Mexicans only.” The issue with this statement is that Club America does not have an all-Mexican team instead their main rivals Chivas de Guadalajara have historically always fielded a team with only Mexicans.
Since the club was founded in 1908, Chivas have not fielded a foreign player for any of their games barring a few American-born players of Mexican descent.
Club America vs Chivas is the fixture all fans of Liga MX look forward to the most and is rightfully called ‘El Súper Clásico.’ Such an ignorant statement about these two massive clubs from one of the most knowledgeable managers in the world would truly be beyond shocking.
But it looks like this was yet another of Pep’s jokes put up for display rather than a serious statement about either club.
Ahead of last season’s UCL Quarter-Final tie against Atletico Madrid, the Spaniard joked about him overthinking in big games and went on speak with a straight face about his plan to do it once again.
“I always create new tactics and ideas, and tomorrow you will see a new one. I overthink a lot, that’s why I have very good results in the Champions League. It would be boring if my job, all the time, we had to play the same way,” said Guardiola.
Furthermore, Pep himself spent his final years as a player in the Mexican league while playing for Dorados de Sinaloa (2005-06). Having played here for a year, it is natural that he would have a good understanding of the two biggest clubs participating in the league.
While the Spaniard may be renowned for his serious work ethic and dedication to the sport, he has once again shown that he is never for one to shy away from making a quirky joke or two even during work.