Jurgen Klopp believes Pep Guardiola's Barcelona side were a perfect footballing role model and the Liverpool boss expects his old Bundesliga adversary to be a success at Manchester City.
Guardiola's feted coaching credentials again came under the microscope after City fell to a 3-1 defeat at Monaco on Wednesday, dumping them out of the Champions League on away goals.
It marked the first time in his career Guardiola has not led a side under his control to the semi-finals of the competition and, ahead of facing Klopp's Liverpool on Sunday, City lie third in the Premier League – 10 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea.
The situation contrasts with the 46-year-old's trophy laden reigns at Barca and Bayern Munich, where he pulled the Bavarian giants clear in what had been a tightly contested rivalry with Klopp's Dortmund.
"I would say Pep Guardiola's Barcelona squad was the perfect role model for a winning situation," Klopp said at a pre-match news conference.
"It was an outstanding combination. It was also another really good generation at Bayern Munich, there was not a second team in Germany, we tried to be it but it didn't happen.
"Coming here, it's the most difficult league in the world. It's really difficult to become champions in England.
"In other countries it is difficult. Here a win is everything, in other countries if you played with other styles you would have an empty stadium.
"Everything is legal, the culture is different.
"I am not in doubt about his qualities. I respect him a lot. I have played him a lot and it is difficult to play his teams."
Klopp: "We know we can be difficult to play in games like this, but we must be at our best." pic.twitter.com/Q5XE2ib1bT
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) March 17, 2017
Tiemoue Bakayoko's 79th-minute header for Monaco sent City packing in midweek but Klopp saw plenty to be wary of in their performance, with Leroy Sane on target during a much improved second-half showing, in which top scorer Sergio Aguero was unusually profligate.
"To be active, you need to be brave. Monaco couldn't do it two halves. Second half [City] missed chance after chance. We cannot hope Aguero misses these chances," he added, with Liverpool a point and a place behind City after playing a game more.
"Hopefully it is a good time to play them - no idea. Could I change the time? Would I have been disappointed after going out of the Champions League? Yes. But they can learn, that's all you can do.
"It was two spectacular games. Monaco are flying in the league and in the Champions League, too. I thought the changes City made in the game were really good.
"But which mood are [City in] now? No idea! I'm more interested in what mood we are in."