Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has paid tribute to the “very special” Walter Smith after the Rangers legend passed away this week.

The iconic Gers manager had a humbling and unindulgent influence across the beautiful game and his relationship with legendary manager Pep has come as a surprise to many.

Barcelona legend Guardiola – who also enjoyed several successful years with Bayern Munich – is arguably the most highly-sought after coach in the game.

The two struck up a friendship during Smith’s time working as a technical consultant with the League Manager’s Association.

Like Smith, Guardiola’s career has been defined by success and speaking after the Rangers manager’s passing, the legendary coach explained that he was “very fortunate” to know Walter.

 

Pep Guardiola pays tribute to Walter Smith

“I am so very sad to hear the news of Walter Smith’s passing,” said Guardiola [Glasgow Times].

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“I was of course very aware of Walter’s impressive management career before I came to the Premier League.

“Through his role as technical consultant for the LMA, I have had the opportunity over the past five years to get to know him and see what a humble, insightful and very genuine man he was.

“I always enjoyed spending time with Walter and we had been planning to have dinner together again.

“I feel very fortunate to have had the chance to get to know him and I send my deepest condolences to Walter’s wife Ethel, his sons Neil and Steven, his grandchildren and all of his family who have lost a very special man.”

Kilmarnock v Rangers

Walter Smith’s influence was felt across the footballing spectrum. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

It’s a touch of class from Pep Guardiola and one of a number of glowing tributes which have been given to the man the Rangers fans know as Sir Walter.

The Ibrox gaffer was an inspiration to tens of thousands and some revealing clips have shown another side to the Rangers manager as his legacy is celebrated by fans.

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