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Former Real Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui
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'He's an exceptional person': Guardiola backs Lopetegui for future success
The Man City boss believes his former Barcelona team-mate will be given another chance to prove his quality as a manager.

PEP GUARDIOLA IS confident that Julen Lopetegui will get another opportunity to impress at a big club despite his Real Madrid tenure ending after just 14 games.

A 5-1 humbling at the hands of fierce rivals Barcelona in Sunday’s El Clasico proved the final straw for Madrid president Florentino Perez.

Lopetegui’s departure was confirmed on Monday with the club saying the “great disproportion between the quality of the squad and the results” were to blame for his exit.

The former Spain boss thanked Madrid for the opportunity, albeit brief, to manage Los Blancos, and Guardiola expects another club to give him a chance.

“I’m sorry for Julen because he’s a friend of mine, he’s an exceptional person,” Guardiola told reporters after Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Tottenham.

“We played together in Barcelona and we have an amazing relationship and I would like to call him in the next days but it is what it is. It’s football. Nobody can escape that.

“When you have bad results you won’t continue and big, big places like Barcelona and Madrid – these kind of places either you win in a row or you won’t have a chance to continue.

“But in football life, you have another chance and Julen will have another chance, other players and he will show his value like he did in Porto, in the national team of Spain and I wish him all the best of course.”

While disappointed for his friend, former Barca boss Guardiola was delighted to see the Blaugrana cruise to victory in the Clasico – even without Lionel Messi.

He added: “I couldn’t see the first half I’m sorry because I was working on Tottenham, I had a training session, I couldn’t see [it].”

“But I saw the second half and the first 10 or 15 minutes Madrid was quite good, man to man. And of course, you have chances but with the players in attack for Barcelona like [Luis] Suarez or the other ones, it’s always a risk.

“I will not deny I’m so happy for the victory for Barcelona, who remain the strongest team in Europe. For the quality of the players they have, the manager, the club itself – many, many things.”

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