This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Speaking to ESPN FC, Manchester City star Rodri has declared Liverpool are the “best team in England and in Europe” at the moment.
What did he say?
The two sides have dominated domestic football over the past couple of seasons, and last year saw one of the most dramatic title races in Premier League history.
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Whilst City ended up clinching the league for the second year in a row, Jurgen Klopp’s side lifted the Champions League by beating Tottenham in the final.
Now, Rodri has turned up the heat a notch by insisting the Reds’ achievements in Europe means they are now the team for everyone to beat.
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Asked who out of Manchester United and Liverpool are City’s biggest rivals, the Spain international said: “I don’t know, I had never been in the city before, I don’t know how people in the city feel. But the team to beat is Liverpool now and that has been seen the last two seasons. They are the champions of Europe so everyone wants to beat them, not just us.
“They’re a great team, they have improved a lot of things, they’re a very good team, and they’re the best team in England and in Europe.”
The psychological warfare has well and truly begun. Mind games have always been a constant theme in sporting competitions, with players and teams alike seeking to get an edge on their closest rivals. In City’s case this season, Liverpool’s flawless start to the Premier League has ensured they are already playing catch-up, and attempting to gain that advantage back in any way, shape or form is welcomed.
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Rodri’s comments are designed to put the pressure on the Anfield side’s shoulders, and even get opposition teams more fired up when they play them. Everybody wants to beat the best after all. And, by placing that honour on Klopp’s men, City can lie in the shadows, waiting for a slip-up to occur.
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