Guardiola: I agree with Mourinho, the international calendar is ridiculous

An ideological battle will be fought at Old Trafford on Sunday, with defeat for either manager likely to invite scrutiny of their respective styles

Pep Guardiola agrees with Jose Mourinho’s assertion that international friendlies at this time of year should be scrapped, insisting the international calendar is “ridiculous”.

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Mourinho said earlier this week that he is “totally against” friendly matches unless they are played in the run-up to major international tournaments.

Manchester City boss Guardiola accepts that football federations need time to prepare their teams, and that he would like the same opportunities if he were the coach of a national team.

But he says that there are too many important club games at this time of year in various different competitions, and that playing international friendliesis “too risky”consideringthe rest of the calendarincludes summer tournaments and long qualification stages.

"The federations want the players to play as much as possible ahead of the world cup and of course we want all the players to go there," he said at a press conference on Friday."We want them to go there and come back safe, and play less minutes as possible.

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"I am a little bit agree [with Mourinho]. Now we play for many things. All the clubs are here for many minutes and the people are in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, of the Europa league so, for the qualifications, and it’s toorisky to play a friendly game. I agee.If we could avoid it itwould be better, but the schedule is the schedule.

"It’s too many games, it’s crazy how many games there are in all the leagues, that’s why it happens. Always the national team deserves to play games but when we have 20 games in a thousand million competitions, and then after the Confederations Cup and after thegames, it looks a little ridiculous. I am sorry."

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