Chile Coach Jorge Sampaoli has expressed his ‘great joy’ at competing with Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique for the Coach of the Year award.
Sampoli, Guardiola and Enrique were on Monday named as the three contenders for the prize, to be announced during January’s Ballon d’Or Gala.
“To be on the level of Luis and Pep, who have won everything, generated great joy and emotion because we’re chosen by what our teams have shown on the field,” Sampaoli told Marca.
“Through this game I’ve had the possibility of being between the best. And it is this Chile team that has spoken for me.
“Guardiola is already in the world’s history of football. He’s maintained a style that has transcended Barcelona to Bayern Munich and that makes him even greater.
“I’m also proud of the fact that I’m the only national team Coach [nominated], because I have less time with the players.”
Sampaoli was asked to compare former Barca Coach Guardiola with Enrique, the current occupant of the Camp Nou bench, but insisted the trainers are different.
“Pep’s team had a collective performance, beyond the figures. They were almost unbeatable,” Sampaoli recalled.
“Enrique’s Barca has found a wonderful forward trident, which, coupled with some of the best, like Andres Iniesta, produces a team with a lot of goals.
“There are differences, but both are very strong, although Enrique’s team is forceful and constant attack. Pep’s team was more consistent in its play.”