"Julian Alvarez will come back soon..." - Pep Guardiola pre Everton Press Conference
Pep Guardiola previews Manchester City's final Premier League game of the year, a Saturday evening home match against Everton. The City boss of course paid tribute to Pele, discussed when Julian Alvarez will be back for the blues, and Erling Haaland was also talked about (again).
Julian Alvarez's return:
"He'll come back soon, after New Year's Eve he'll be here."
"He's coming back fit, he's in condition to train and after we decide [if he's ready to play]."
"If he breaks records he's scoring goals and helping us to win games. The team benefits, we have the benefit of this. Since day one we are delighted, not just the contribution of goals, but many things. Hopefully he can continue to improve, because I have the feeling he can do better as a football player. He's still young, he has the mindset to do it."
The opposition, Everton:
"The last two games against Liverpool and Leeds were so demanding, high intensity, we handle really well. I don't know what Everton will do, sometimes they press high but not last season. We have to know the transitions, start from [Jordan] Pickford. The quality is there, they have exceptional players. In this period, everyone's thinking of New Year's Eve, the distraction can be a problem. Two days after Leeds, we have to be ready."
"Unfortunately for him [Dominic Calvert-Lewin] was injured for the last period, doesn't have the consistency to play. On top he's exceptional, long balls, second balls. He's a dangerous player."
Tribute to Pele:
"On behalf of Manchester City, biggest condolences to his family. Football is football thanks to these kinds of people. Before number ten was just a number, after [Pele] became something special, every player wants to wear number ten. What he has done for football is there and will remain."
"I never pretend to be Pele, honestly! I never saw him play, I spoke with people who said he was the greatest for him. What he has done, not just winning three World Cups, the goals and he was a new thing when he came up. I was not born when he was playing. It's like a good movie, the legacy that we're still talking about him, about a good movie, a good book, because he was so good. Pele, [Diego] Maradona, [Johan] Cruyff, [Lionel] Messi, [Franz] Beckenbauer, Cristiano Ronaldo, these players will be eternal. They have done many things for many years, these types of players make our business, our job, a better place. What he produced for the feeling for the people. We have seen the World Cup, one team can produce for a country, it's incredible. It's not another event can produce this emotion. This part of exceptional players can produce the emotion for the players."
"I don't remember clearly [watching Pele as a boy], there was not social media. My father and mother had just one TV, I realised in the academy at Barcelona, had a physio who was in love with Brazil, always talked about Pele. After at 9, 10, 11 , started to watch. How strong, he could do everything. People say that rhythm was completely different. If he played now he would adapt the rhythm, the spaces. He could play in every generation. For people who saw Pele, they say he's the best. Argentina say Di Stefano, Maradona, Messi. It doesn't mean one is better. I always say Messi is my favourite because I work with him, but I understand people choose another one. All of them make an incredible contribution to World football. The emotions to give to the fans to enjoy what you do, and they do it regularly."
Written by: @coIgcra
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