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Pep Guardiola apologises to Kalvin Phillips for 'overweight' comments

Pep Guardiola apologises to Kalvin Phillips for 'overweight' comments

Man City manager Pep Guardiola made the remarks about Phillips' weight following the World Cup in Qatar.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has apologised to Kalvin Phillips after he publicly criticised the midfielder for being "overweight" on his return from the World Cup.

Back in December 2022, Guardiola commented on Phillips' fitness following Manchester City's first game after the World Cup break – a 3-2 win over Liverpool in the Carabao Cup.

He said was not pleased with the state that Phillips had returned in, saying he was "overweight" and "not in the right condition to train".

It was criticism that Phillips found hard to take. In fact, the 28-year-old England international brought up Guardiola's comments in an interview with The Guardian this month.

“After the World Cup was probably the toughest, when Pep came out and said I was overweight. He was right to do so but there are different ways to go about it," he said.

"I did not disagree with him but obviously I took a big knock on my confidence and how I felt at City. And my family were not happy about it, either. Especially my mum.”

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Phillips added: “It was just a misunderstanding and I think he was very frustrated with me coming back 1.5kg over my weight target.”

Guardiola has since responded to Phillips' recent comments in his pre-match press conference ahead of Manchester City's Premier League clash against Brentford.

After being confronted on the subject, he said: "Yeah, I’m sorry. Once in eight years is not bad. But I’m so sorry. I apologise to him. I do apologise. I’m so sorry.”

You can see Guardiola's response in full below:

Phillips, who barely featured for England at the World Cup in Qatar, struggled with injuries in his debut campaign at the Etihad following his £45 million move from Leeds.

In fact, he played just two full games in the Premier League.

The midfielder, who is currently on loan at West Ham, also opened up about Guardiola's "overweight" comment in 2023.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, he said: "To be honest, it was a little hard to take [the criticism], just because of how much it was oversized and how many people started talking about it.

"I know the manager made his comments but I respected them."

Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Phillips added: "I, for me, wasn't overweight, but obviously the manager saw it in a different way. I took it, did my best to try and get as fit as possible and I was on the bench for the Leeds game straight after that. I was fit for every game since then.

"It was just one of those things where it was a misunderstanding between me and some staff members."

Featured Image Credit: Hayters TV - Getty Images

Topics: Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, Kalvin Phillips, Premier League