It’s not only the European media giving huge coverage to the Manchester Derby. It’s a big deal in Brazil as well, and a few days before the match, ESPN’s London based reporter João Castello Branco has traveled to Manchester to report on the pre-game atmosphere in the city.
On Wednesday he got an interview with Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho, who also went on air on ESPN and talked to many journalists. Most of them asked about Pep Guardiola, and the player commented:
“In that month and a half, almost two months we are working together, it’s obvious that you notice a big difference to other managers I’ve had. Speaking in my case. And in my view, no wonder why he was a winner where he went, starting with Barcelona and then at Bayern Munich. I hope he can also be a winner here at Manchester City.
“But the way he works is very cool, very interesting. It’s a way that you can understand everything he wants, everything he asks you to do. He explains why you do certain kinds of things in the game, in training, tactical situations of how to attack, how to defend. So that’s one thing that made me very surprised, in a positive way, of course. And I’m very hopeful of doing a good job with him here in England.”
Questioned about the importance of the Manchester derby this weekend, Fernandinho said: “This game is big, man. It’s a game that stops the city. The city is actually divided, people only talked about it in the last two weeks. And I believe that as it’s the first time Pep and Mourinho will be here in charge of teams playing this derby, it will be an extra attraction.”
As the game kicks off at 8:30am in Brazil, the midfielder made a plea for his compatriots to make an effort to enjoy the game: “Just asking for people to wake up early on Saturday to keep up with this game because it’s a game that promises a lot, it’s a classic.”