Barca were the subject of regular Mourinho barbs, and the nadir came when the Portuguese poked Guardiola’s assistant Tito Vilanova in the eye during a touchline scuffle in August 2011.
“I think Jose put it pretty well in his press conference,” City’s new head coach said. “It’s not about him or about me.
“We played many times against each other, and I can only say as a coach that the big coaches – and Jose is of course one of them – help me to reach another level as a coach.
“My experience against him and against, for example, Jurgen Klopp or Thomas Tuchel at Borussia Dortmund and a lot of managers in England and Spain – it made me better.
“All managers in the world want to win and here they’re going to try to win as well.”
“Every stage is a big challenge,” he said. “It could be the biggest because City have not won as many titles as Barcelona or Bayern but I can’t answer. Maybe when you took over the second team from Barcelona [in 2007] it was the hardest because if I failed in that moment my career would be finished.
“We have to win every day. I see how difficult it is in England to find a team to win four, five, six games in a row. All the people talk about that. Maybe that is the challenge, to try to be more consistent in our game, but I think in my career people are always going to demand [success of] my teams … but in the end that is good. It is better to live under that pressure so I think you have to understand, maybe we will not be able to win, maybe we will not win every day but we are going to try and that is the important thing to change in our play.”