Their odd little slagging match around diving, cheating and general misbehaviour has been one of the Premier League highlights of the past few months; but with the Liverpool and Man City managers battling it out for points on pitch and off, who is actually ahead in the league table? This is Jurgen Klopp vs. Pep Guardiola.
Other than complimenting the man’s physique (seriously, “Pep always looks perfect – body, clothes, everything is perfect”), Klopp’s only dig at the Man City manager is their penchant for dubious tactics: “I am not too sure if I want to put oil on the fire. I am not interested in these kind of things. And I promise not to mention tactical fouls.” Er… burn?
Guardiola’s the instigator for the latest war of the words where, after the Liverpool vs Man City match, on Sadio Mane he spoke thusly: “It (diving) has happened many times, what Liverpool have done, in the last few years. Mane is a special talent. Sometimes he’s diving, sometimes he has this talent to score incredible goals in the last minute.” It’s part of an apparent fixation on Liverpool; we’ll see if it starts getting unhealthy.
A devotee to IWC, he’s been seen wearing a few of the Schaffhausen-based brand’s timepieces. That includes some of their pilots range, like the Pilots Chronograph 377701-0. But the closest thing he seems to have to a signature watch is the seriously cool Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar 50 Years Aquatimer edition. The most complicated of the collection and set in a ceratanium case, it’s as big and bold as IWC goes.
Pep has been seen wearing a few different brands – including a Rolex Deep Sea, IWC Big Pilot and Chopard Mille Miglia – and isn’t afraid to show them off. It’s a solid collection, yet there’s one name that keeps coming out on top: Richard Mille. As well as the unusual RM 022 Aerodyne, he’s been seen sporting an RM010 Automatic AMC Blue, matching his team’s colours perfectly. The man really knows his watches.
Currently holding the top spot in the premier league, a good few points ahead of Man City, things are looking pretty solid for Liverpool. There’s a lot to be hyped about too; they’ve not won a first division title for far, far too long and they seem in prime position to storm home this year, unbeaten all season. There’s still potential for an upset… but it would need to be a substantial one given Liverpool’s current form. Could that upset come from Man City? Probably not. But you never know…
At the time of writing Pep Guardiola is lagging behind in the title race. After 12 matches, Man City is battling it out for second place against Chelsea and Leicester City. They’re unlikely to fall behind, with the next closest Sheffield United at 17… but neither do they seem destined for the title, a full nine points behind without a single game in hand. It’s a fall from their one-point lead at the end of last season. Still, if we look at the last few years Man City have done amazingly well; Liverpool hasn’t won the first division since 1989-1990.
When your team are buying Ferraris like hot dinners, what do you drive to show them you’re the boss? An Opel Insignia. Maybe it’s just Klopp’s German sense of humour, maybe he’s secretly driving up huge gambling debts better to actually win the league each year, but it’s certainly not the car you’d expect. Humble barely cuts it.
It’s not just watches Pep’s happy to splash money out for; his ride is the stunning Bentley GTX700. It’s ironic, given he once banned flashy cars from the training ground, but understandable all the same. Perhaps there’s something about the car, because it’s also owned by one of Pep’s star players Raheem Sterling, who’s had his own spat recently, too.
Back in 2016 when he came on Klopp signed for a purported £7m per year, a good increase from his £4m at Dortmund prior. Given their championship bid, it’s probably a little more than that now, building on his net worth of around £15m. It’s a good amount.
At £15m a year, Pep earns a Jurgen Klopp every 12 months, and it looks set to go even higher, all the way up to £20m a year. He might be coasting with the UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, but with that kind of money it’s easy to see why he likes to flash the cash.
Likeable as Klopp is – and he is likeable, with his overenthusiasm on the sidelines – it’s Pep who we have to hand the title to this issue. Between his watch collection and his car not being an Opel Insignia, he definitely has more of an upper hand against the Liverpool manager than his team does. Now if only he could stop throwing petty accusations…