‘He is exceptional’ – Pep Guardiola hails Man United star ahead of Manchester derby

'He is exceptional' - Pep Guardiola hails Man United star ahead of Manchester derby

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has hailed Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo as an ‘exceptional’ player ahead of this weekend’s derby.

Man United will lock horns with Man City at Etihad on Sunday in the Premier League and both clubs will be looking to emerge after the final whistle.

United are hoping to maintain their top-four hunt against Guardiola’s men while City will hope they maintain their spot at the top of the table after the derby.

Speaking ahead of the match, Pep Guardiola, former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager, hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as a ‘finisher’ and said he’s a joy to watch.

The Portuguese star could be starting the derby on the bench after only managing to score one goal in the last 10 matches in all competitions.

Pep Guardiola hails Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Manchester derby
Pep Guardiola hails Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of Manchester derby
Erik ten Hag gives Cristiano Ronald... x
Erik ten Hag gives Cristiano Ronaldo new nickname ahead of his Manchester United arrival on Monday

But Guardiola hailed him anyway saying: “As a finisher, exceptional. A joy to watch in these years. We have to explore our game and strength to avoid him close to the ball.”

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick talked about Man City’s playing pattern and explained how his side would attempt to stop them from playing at their best.

“In the end, it is about controlling the game, not letting them play without pressure, because this is what they want, overloading spaces,” said Rangnick.

“For us, it is about finding moments where we can take the ball away from them [Man City] and make the best of those transitional moments. It is up to us on Sunday to show that we can do that.”