Former Manchester City left-back Angelino has denied saying Pep Guardiola “killed” him as a player.
The Spaniard, who had two stints at the Etihad Stadium, joined the initially loaned German club in January 2020 after failing to secure a regular spot in Guardiola’s squad.
In an interview earlier this year, he said the situation under Guardiola “killed” him but, ahead of Wednesday’s clash with his former club, made it clear he was only referring to his level of confidence.
It was not, he added, a suggestion that Guardiola damaged his game or retarded his development. In fact, he thinks the opposite has happened.
“It’s not that he killed me as a player,” said the 24-year-old, who will be on Leipzig’s side for their Champions League Group A opener against City. “I always said he made me the player I am today.
“While I was with him I couldn’t realize how much I was improving in training, but since the first day I arrived here at RB I have seen the improvements I have made , thanks to him.
“I will always be grateful. It’s just that I didn’t play. That’s why I said he killed my confidence.
“I didn’t have a lot of playing time but I will always be grateful for the help he gave me the last time I was here.”
Angelino went through the City youth system but, after a series of loans, permanently joined PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2018.
City exercised a buyout clause a year later after shining for the Dutch side but were allowed to leave in the next transfer window. His move to the Bundesliga side, where he is based, was made permanent in February.
He admits it will be strange to be back in the Etihad.
“It’s a strange feeling,” he said at the pre-match press conference. “I never thought I would play in a different jersey at this stadium, but I’m really happy to be back.
“We’re playing against one of the best teams in the world and we know it’s going to be a tough night. We cannot tolerate any stupid mistake if we want to get a result.
Leipzig, the 2020 Champions League semi-finalist, has had a frustrating start to the season under new coach Jesse Marsch – losing three of their first four Bundesliga games.
“Against Manchester City it’s another difficult task but we are very excited about this challenge,” said Marsch, who took over from current Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann.
“They have a lot of quality but we think we can be intensive with and without the ball and make it difficult for them.”