Guardiola among the best, says Mourinho

Pep Guardiola deserves to be hailed as one of the great managers, according to La Liga contemporary Jose Mourinho.

The 40-year-old Guardiola has only been a manager since 2008 and led the Catalan giants to a treble in the 2008-09 season while also claiming the league and Copa del Rey titles last season.

The current campaign is just Guardiola’s third in charge of a senior team, but Real Madrid boss Mourinho was quick to quash any suggestions that his rival’s inexperience if a weak point.

“Pep is a great manager. It doesn’t matter how many years you work for, but what you achieve is important,” Mourinho said.

“There are long-time coaches who nobody knows about and people don’t see them as great managers.”

“Pep has been a manager for a short time, but what he has achieved is more than sufficient for him to be considered one of the best managers around.”

Mourinho’s side trail league-leading Barcelona by five points, and face a tricky trip to Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday, where they must win to keep the pressure on Guardiola’s side, who are away to Mallorca earlier in the day.

Last season, Real won 3-1 at Estadio Municipal de Riazor, which included a brace from Karim Benzema.

“Historically it was the first victory last season (for Real away at Deportivo) for many, many years,” Mourinho said.

“Even this season when they aren’t having a great season – at home I think they’ve only lost 2 matches, I think that was (to) Barcelona and Almeria. So I think they’re a strong team at home and that makes it difficult for us.”