Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Speaking on Soccer AM’s YouTube channel, Thomas Tuchel has been waxing-lyrical about Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola.

The pair are set to face off in Saturday’s Champions League final, and while there will certainly be rivalry on the touchline, there’s definitely an underlying respect between the two.

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What’s he said?

Tuchel was speaking about a meeting he had with Guardiola during his time at Mainz, claiming that he and Pep used salt and pepper shakers to demonstrate formations and tactics at a restaurant once.

“Yes we did, yes we did because they were there and it’s easier to demonstrate a position or a defending a position or building some gaps you can play through, and it’s easier to do this when you have some glasses and salt and pepper on the table,” Tuchel said.

“I had to use the possibility, I didn’t know when I’d get it again, I was such a huge admirer of Pep when he was a player and then when he became a coach it was like learning on the job for me. I was an academy coach and then in the Bundesliga with Mainz, but I don’t think I missed a game because there was so much to learn. There was a lot of tactical talking and discussions and it was so interesting to hear his beliefs, his self-confidence and also the doubts in what he’s doing.”

Photo by Matt McNulty – Manchester City/Manchester City FC via Getty Images

Ace up his sleeve

This meeting could be absolutely vital in the grand scheme of things.

When Guardiola was telling Tuchel about his tactics and his doubts all those years ago, he probably didn’t imagine that he’d be facing off against him in a Champions League final.

If Tuchel has remembered the intricacies of what Guardiola told him that day, he could use that to exploit the Spaniard’s tactics on Saturday.

Tuchel may be a huge fan of Guardiola’s, but on Saturday he has to attempt to crush his Champions League dream.

Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

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