Gary Neville believes Pep Guardiola will be a ‘worthy companion’ to his former Manchester United Sir Alex Ferguson if Manchester City can seal a Treble of their own.
United won the Treble in the memorable 1998/99 campaign. City have already claimed one-third of that with the Premier League crown. Their fifth title in six seasons was confirmed after second-placed Arsenal suffered a 1-0 loss on the road to Nottingham Forest.
City take on United in the FA Cup final next month, before heading to Istanbul to face Inter Milan in the Champions League final. A huge couple of weeks now follow for Guardiola’s side.
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Neville was part of the United side which won the Treble and made it clear he does not want City to repeat that achievement. But he concedes that should Guardiola oversee triumphs in the upcoming two cup finals to complete a Treble, then the Spaniard will be the ‘equal’ of his former boss Ferguson as he compared the achievements of both managers.
Speaking to the Sunday Times, Neville said: “No, I don’t. Nobody wants City to win the Treble if you’re a Manchester United fan.
“But if they do the job in the Premier League and beat Manchester United [in the FA Cup final] and Inter Milan [in the Champions League final] you’d just have to hold your hands up and say that this manager and this group of players have achieved something unique. And that, actually, it’s quite fitting if this manager does it.
“Sir Alex Ferguson deserves to be the only manager in history to have done the Treble because he’s the greatest but if Pep Guardiola joined him, he’d be a worthy companion, because I think he is equal of what Sir Alex Ferguson achieved.
“When we talk about greatness, we have to mention that Sir Alex Ferguson wasn’t just furnished with great young players and a great kitty to spend at Manchester United — he turned Aberdeen into kings of Europe, beating Real Madrid, and kings of Scotland over Rangers and Celtic — and that in itself is a massive achievement.
“Then to come to Manchester United and break Liverpool’s dominance and do what he did over a period of time… in terms of longevity and consistency, he’s the greatest.
“But what we’re seeing now from Pep, having been at City for six or seven seasons — I think Pep now sees what Sir Alex did and thinks, “Right, I can go on for six, eight, ten years.” Because where is he ever going to get the platform to do what he does like at City?
‘So, for me, he would be a worthy companion to Sir Alex and his players would be worthy companions of our Manchester United Treble team. Fingers crossed they lose though!”
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