Pep Guardiola will turn Manchester City into a great team, according to his former Barcelona striker David Villa.
The New York City forward rates Guardiola as the best manager in the game and says he needs time to make City one of the best sides in the world.
Guardiola took Villa to the Nou Camp in 2010 and they went onto win the Champions League and La Liga title in his first season. And Villa, who had already won the World Cup and European Championship with Spain before the move, said the Catalan coach improved him hugely as a player.
“Guardiola is the best manager in the world but I think it is too early to compare his Barcelona side with Manchester City,” Villa told Reuters.
“We have to give him time because I am sure he will make City a great team.
“Guardiola is a very special coach. You can learn and improve with him while training.
“I have always said that after my time in Barcelona, I am a better player thanks to everything he gave me.”
Guardiola faces his old club Barcelona on Tuesday in the Champions League with City not certain of reaching the knockout stages after taking just four points from their opening three games in Group C.
The Spaniard has not gone out of the competition before the semifinal stage during his seven years as a manager with Barca and then Bayern Munich.
He says City must win two of their last three games to be certain of reaching the round of 16 but Villa says it will take time for him to be successful in Europe with the Premier League side.
“The Champions League is not an easy competition,” Villa added. “You’re playing the best teams in the world so it’s tough.
“The key to being successful in the competition is a mixture between finding consistency, playing in the right way at the knockout stages, having the best players, the best coach, the best tactics and a bit of good luck, too. It is very difficult.”