By 90Min
December 16, 2017

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has claimed that if he were still in his playing heyday, he wouldn't stand a chance of getting into the Citizens starting XI due to the talents of their midfield ace Fernandinho. 

The Brazilian international is often an unsung hero at the club, with his defensive solidity allowing the attacking talents the freedom to rampage forward.

Speaking ahead of his side's crucial Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur, via Marca, the former Barcelona midfielder singled out Fernandinho for praise, claiming he would keep him out of the City start XI if he were still playing.

Guardiola said: "I wouldn't play in this team, Fernandinho is much better than what I ever was."

Fernandinho has been with the club since 2013, when he joined from Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk for around £30m. While often thought of as merely a defensive midfielder, the 32-year-old's relentless stamina sees him act as more of a box-to-box player, winning the ball back off opposing players and leading the counter-attack with formidable dribbling skills.

Guardiola enjoyed a highly successful playing career, spending the lion's share of his career with La Liga giants Barcelona - where he later went on to become a highly successful manager. 

Ben Radford/GettyImages

During his playing career, Guardiola won six league titles and a European Cup with Barcelona, becoming renowned as the technically gifted, creative heart of the midfield.

Guardiola looks on course to win his first Premier League title with Manchester City, as the club hurtle towards the trophy with the midway point of the season approaching. The Citizens are unbeaten, at the top of the league with 16 wins from 17 matches. 11 points clear of their nearest rivals Manchester United, Guardiola's men are starting to look unstoppable.

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