After Jurgen Klopp described Antonio Conte as the ‘Pep Guardiola of Turin’, the Chelsea boss responded by labelling his Liverpool counterpart as “one of the best managers in the world”.
The pair go head-to-head when Chelsea host Liverpool on Friday night, with the Blues hoping to maintain their unbeaten start in the Premier League.
Klopp told reporters on Wednesday that Conte has brought immense passion to Stamford Bridge, which helped him achieve success during his time in Turin as Juventus boss.
“He looks quite emotional, even when they don’t score. Obviously he is involved in the game, but that’s not the most important thing,” Klopp said.
“The very important thing is he is a great manager, something like the ‘Pep Guardiola of Juventus’ if you want.
“He created their special type of play and had a very successful time there and with the national team. It is quite impressive what he has done until now, but I don’t play against Antonio Conte.”
Conte enjoyed a glittering playing career at Juventus, winning give Serie A titles between 1995 and 2003.
The Italian took charge of the Old Lady in 2011, guiding them to three successive league titles before leaving for the role as Italy head coach.
The 47-year-old’s passion was there for all to see at Euro 2016, where he took an unfancied Italy side to the quarter-finals before losing to Germany penalties.
Conte and Klopp have met just once as managers, during a pre-season friendly this summer, with Chelsea running out 1-0 winners thanks to a Gary Cahill header.
“Klopp is a good manager, one of the best in the world,” Conte said in a press conference on Thursday.
“He’s showing his capacity to be a great manager. I know him but not much. We played against each other only once, in pre-season, but he’s a fantastic manager and I’ll be glad to see him tomorrow.”