Pep Guardiola is seemingly unable to shake the thought of Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool from his mind even in his life away from football.
The Reds have emerged as a familiar nuisance to the Manchester City manager across what has so far been a largely successful Etihad tenure.
No manager in world football boasts a better record against Guardiola than Klopp, with the German having maintained that advantage during their time competing in England.
He now faces stiff competition from the Liverpool boss in his bid to retain the Premier League title, with both sides yet to suffer defeat.
Delivering this year’s Peers Annual Lecture at the University of Liverpool, the former Barcelona man joked of his competitors getting in the way of his love of poetry.
He said: ‘I love to read, but I don’t read,” per the Liverpool Echo.
“I start to read and then I start to think ‘Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp’ and I cannot focus!”
Guardiola has won just once with City in seven contests against Klopp’s Liverpool during his time at the club, beating the Reds 5-0 in back September 2017. The eventual champions later saw their unbeaten record end with a thrilling 4-3 defeat at Anfield in January’s corresponding fixture.
The Spaniard then watched his side lose again to Liverpool in both Champions League quarter-final legs as Klopp’s men carved their route to the final.
Footage from City’s documentary ‘All or Nothing’ proceeded to recall Guardiola admitting his fear of the Reds’ front three in the Goodison Park changing rooms ahead of a clash with Everton.
Both have been public with their admiration for one another and their appreciation for the mutual attacking ambitions that have seen this matchup become a standout fixture.
It need only a look back at the calculated and more reserved approach City adopted in October’s goalless draw to recognise the respect Guardiola has for his opposite number and his players.