Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made a surprise visit to Expo 2020 Dubai on Monday — much to the delight of a group of young footballers.
The Spanish coach of the current Premier League champions was welcomed by Reem Al Hashimy — Minister of State for International Co-operation and director general of Expo — and took the opportunity to tour the UAE and UK pavilions at the exhibition.
Guardiola also took part in a Q&A session with invited guests alongside City chief executive Ferran Soriano before the duo headed over to see the City Football Schools training sessions at Expo’s Sports Fitness and well-being Hub, and meet some of the young players.
It was a chance for Guardiola, who has picked up eight major trophies in just over five years at Manchester City, to reveal his thoughts on Expo.
“It’s incredible and has been a wonderful experience to witness the energy of grass roots football here at Expo 2020 Dubai and to see how the club connects with people around the world,” Guardiola said. “The enthusiasm for the game demonstrated by the next generation of aspiring players is marvelous.”
“I was really happy to see the kids playing, and hopefully some of them will have the opportunity to train in Manchester in the future.”
Soriano added: “Manchester City is very proud to be working closely with Expo Dubai 2020, helping to deliver this exceptional event to the world. We were so impressed by the pavilions we visited and also happy to see the excitement of the kids playing football at the sport and training facilities. I encourage everybody that can travel to the UAE to visit the Expo. It is a one in a lifetime opportunity.”
Expo 2020 is an Official Exhibition Partner of Manchester City. Both the club and the event have worked closely together, with Manchester City players wearing Expo 2020 Dubai branding on their training kit for the 2021/22 season.