Magnus Carlsen and Pep Guardiola: Two sporting kings meet to talk tactics as bromance blossoms

Pep Guardiola Magnus Carlsen

Pep Guardiola Magnus Carlsen met during an interview with Puma.Getty ImagesCNN — 

It turns out Pep Guardiola and Magnus Carlsen, two of the biggest names from the worlds of soccer and chess, may have more in common than you think.

Guardiola and Carlsen were recently brought together by Puma, in a video where they discussed some of the greatest moments from their remarkable careers.

It’s safe to say, they hit it off.

Carlsen, arguably the greatest chess player of all time, is a well-known soccer fan and told Manchester City boss Guardiola that he spent much of his childhood playing the game at school.

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I would come home and play chess. It turned out I was better at chess so I continued to do that,” said Carlsen, before departing some wisdom on the similarities between the two pursuits

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“The important thing is to control the middle. If you control the middle, you control the pitch or the board,” explained Carlsen.

“Another thing is that often in chess you attack on one side, force the opponent to overload and then you switch and you have an advantage on the other side,” added Carlsen. “In terms of space, it’s remarkably similar.”

Sitting next to Carlsen, Guardiola looked impressed by the grandmaster’s analysis.

“Wow. That’s nice. He is right,” the five-time Premier League winning champion said.

“The attack is dependent on the movement of the opponent so you have to pay attention to what the opponent does in every single movement and react to that.

“He has two hours to make the next movement, we have a second to react or take a decision,” added Guardiola.

The pair then watched memorable moments from their careers, including the best goals Manchester City scored under Guardiola’s reign and match-winning moves from Carlsen.

“The conversation? It was not horrible,” quipped Carlsen on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The pair are both locked in competition this week.

Guardiola will take his team to Red Star Belgrade for a Champions League fixture on Wednesday before it hosts Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Saturday,

Meanwhile, Carlsen is bidding for yet another title as he competes at’s Champions Chess Tour Finals in Toronto, Canada.

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