Pep Guardiola has trumped Sir Alex Ferguson and Jurgen Klopp in being crowned the most influential football manager of the last 25 years.

Guardiola's Manchester City host Liverpool this coming weekend as one of the Premier League’s greatest rivalries is reignited and the Spaniard has landed an early blow on his German counterpart.

The two managers have met 12 times in English football’s top-flight and both are commonly accepted as two of the greatest gaffers in the game.

They first met in the DFL Supercup in 2013, the first of 28 meetings in total, with Klopp currently leading the way in the head-to-head standings, winning 46% of matches against his adversary, compared to 35% for Guardiola.

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However, despite on-pitch results favouring Klopp, new data from world-leading real-time sports update provider LiveScore has revealed Guardiola to have had the more impactful influence on the beautiful game, with some fans believing his influence even surpasses that of Ferguson, who reigned supreme in the Old Trafford dugout between 1986 and 2013.

The data comes from LiveScore’s upcoming Evolution of Fan report, which asked respondents to select the managers who have reshaped football over the last 25 years via multiple choice and will be released in full in early 2024.

It reveals that 52% of football fans between the ages of 18 and 24 believe Guardiola is the most influential manager over the last 25 years, compared to 32% preferring Klopp.

The same data shows Guardiola's influence trumps managerial legends including Ferguson (50%), Arsene Wenger (39%) and Jose Mourinho (38%).

Fans were also asked to rank each team’s talisman ahead of Saturday's lunchtime kick-off at The Etihad and again City took the honours.

Kevin De Bruyne (31%) came out on top ahead of Mohamed Salah (25%) in terms of individual player impact on the game, while both outshine the likes of Paul Scholes (18%), Ryan Giggs (17%) and Frank Lampard (16%).

“LiveScore’s 25th anniversary gave us the perfect moment to reflect on the influential individuals that have shaped the game we know and love today,” said LiveScore’s Ric Leask.

"Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp have records that speak for themselves, but, as part of our forthcoming Evolution of Fan report, our users have had their say on who they feel has been the most influential manager. 

"Now it’s over to the Pep and Jurgen to go head-to-head at the Etihad this weekend."

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