Pep Guardiola has suggested that even though he might once have been considered the best manager in the world, he longer holds that title.
The Catalan has enjoyed success throughout his coaching career having won numerous trophies while in charge of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
In total, he has won eight league titles across Spain, Germany and England as well as lifting the Champions League twice while coaching Barca.
Despite that, he does not believe he should be regarded as being at the top of his profession while insisting that it is only because he is managing City that he is still able to secure silverware.
When it was suggested to him that he is the best manager in the world, Guardiola told Sky Sports: “I was,” before taking a step back to say that he never once thought of himself in such high regard.
“What is the best coach in the world?” he added. “I never felt I am the best, never in my life.
“When I won six titles in a row in Barcelona and won trebles, I never felt that. I won because I had extraordinary players at big clubs.
“There are incredible managers, they don’t have these players, they don’t have these big clubs. I’m a good manager but not the best.
“Give me a team that is not like Manchester City, I am not going to win.”
Guardiola also spoke about the Premier League’s runaway leaders, world champions and defending European champions, Liverpool, who he hailed as the best team on the planet.
And he puts there success down to the process that has been undertaken since Jurgen Klopp became their manager in 2015.
“Liverpool spent four or five years to win their first trophy last season,” he added.
“It was a process. New players, investment, more and more, and after they got them they are the best team in the world right now.
“Sometimes people believe if you are Pep, Jurgen, or you are another [big] name, you have to win all titles every season with 2000 million points and 2000 million goals.
“Sometimes it’s not possible, sometimes because of the opposition, sometimes you cannot do it. Not all the time in any sport has a team won everything every season all of the time.”
Despite lagging behind Liverpool in the title race, Guardiola believes his team have played well this season and worked as hard as ever.
He is now eyeing success in the Champions League, with the first leg of their last-16 tie with Real Madrid set to be played on February 26 at Santiago Bernabeu.
“We played really well this season,” he said. “In the games, we lost we played really really well, and the hunger is not the reason why [we lost].
“We work harder than last season when we won all the domestic trophies in this country.
“I want to win the Champions League. I dream and will enjoy preparing games against Madrid, to see what we can do.
“This process, these two weeks, are the happiest moments of my profession — looking at what we can do to beat them.”