Guardiola on admiring Welbeck and being offered the United job by Ferguson

by Sam Peoples

Guardiola on playing Manchester United…

“We’re up against Manchester United, one of the most important clubs in the world, regardless of their current situation,” he said.

“Especially if you look back over the last 10 or 15 years under Sir Alex.

“They still have great players. It’s an honour to be here again and, at the end of the day, I hope we can produce a good performance. I have a lot of respect for my colleagues and United decided to take on David Moyes. Sometimes, you need a bit more time. They believe he’s a good coach and and he did a good job at Everton.

“When I see Wayne Rooney, Nemanja Vidic, Danny Welbeck, Chicharito, I know the quality of this team. And, for one or two games, they can have their performance of the season and beat us. It’s the truth.”

Guardiola on being offered the United job by Ferguson…

“He invited me to a super restaurant and we spent a very good time together.

“My English is not so good and Sir Alex spoke quickly, so sometimes I have a problem understanding him.

“That’s why maybe I didn’t understand if I received an offer or not! No, it was a friendly dinner, he was very gentle with me.

“He always talks with me like a coach and we spent a very good time together.”

Schweinsteiger on playing Manchester United and 1999 memories…

“My first thoughts are of Sir Alex [Ferguson] and Old Trafford and the 1999 final,” Schweinsteiger replied, when asked for his memories of United. “I’m looking forward to Old Trafford. It is special here. The whole club are happy to be here, either watching or playing.

“Of course United should be one of the top four teams in England all the time. I am sure they will give everything and, if they beat the titleĀ holders, they’ll be in the last four and will be one of the favourites. They will give their all and will have their fans behind them so we must be ready. We have a lot of respect for United.

“We lost 3-2 the last time we were here [but progressed on aggregate] so I’d like to play here and win. For the first 25 minutes, we were under a barrage of pressure with the fans behind them. However, if we produce a good performance then I am hopeful of a good result.”

Neuer on joining Manchester United…

“It was an honour for Sir Alex to say those things but it wasn’t all that great because we lost both legs. It wasn’t an option for me to come to United. I wanted to go to Bayern.”

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