Rio Ferdinand claims Pep Guardiola’s achievements have surpassed Man Utd legend Sir Alex Ferguson

The former defender said the Manchester City manager has changed the ‘whole pyramid’ of football.
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Rio Ferdinand has lavished Pep Guardiola with praise ahead of the Champions League final, claiming he has ‘transcended’ football and is the best coach in the history of the sport.

The Manchester City manager is on the verge of winning a third Champions League as a manager, something Ferdinand said he doesn’t need to make him the greatest. A win in the final against Inter Milan in Istanbul would also see Guardiola guide his side to a treble.

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Only one man has previously achieved that in English football - Sir Alex Ferguson - but Ferdinand claimed Guardiola has had a bigger impact on football than his former Manchester United manager.

“What Pep’s doing, the style of football and how he’s transcended the game and changes the game as and when it suits him,” opined the ex-defender on BT Sport. “You can’t do anything but respect greatness like that. He doesn’t even need this [Champions League] trophy but it will shut up a lot of people who are chatting a lot of rubbish about how he needs this to be considered great.

“I don’t think he needs this. I genuinely think he is the best coach of a football team that I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. Who puts something on the pitch, lays it out and coached them to play a certain way and the whole pyramid of football tried to do it?

“Centre-backs standing on the corner [of the box] to receive the ball, that’s unheard of. The goalkeeper only saw their number as they ran up to the halfway line. With all due respect, Carlo Ancelotti, a Champions League legend, has done ridiculous things - Sir Alex Ferguson… but the whole pyramid didn’t change from their style of football, even given how great they are. That’s his greatness and his legacy.”