Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola stole the hearts of many a football fan on Monday night after a heart-warming embrace with Bournemouth’s Harry Arter.
Manchester City rose to 2nd in the Premier League after beating Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium, but it was Guardiola’s act of kindness after the final whistle which rightly took a lot of the spotlight.
A little over a year after the heartbreak Arter and his partner Rachel suffered when their baby daughter Renee was stillborn, the couple are expecting another child in the near future and Guardiola sought out the Bournemouth midfielder after the match to wish him well.
Following the full-time whistle, Guardiola and Arter exchanged compliments on the pitch, ending with the Republic of Ireland international jokingly asking the ex-Barcelona boss to ‘sign him up’.
Arter expressed his appreciation for Guardiola’s gesture after the match. Speaking to the Daily Echo, the 27-year-old said: “He offered his best wishes for me and my partner this week, which was an unbelievable touch.
“He is someone I have a massive amount of respect for. I watched his Barcelona teams – and look at his Manchester City side tonight…
“For me, he is the best manager in the world. I don’t think there’s anybody close to him and what he has achieved.
“For him to offer that to me, I respected it and accepted it with a smile on my face.”
Asked in his post-match press conference about what he had said to Arter on the pitch, the City boss replied: “He will be a father soon so I said big congratulations to him and his partner.
“I know what happened in the past, and, hopefully, the baby will be well.”
Guardiola oversaw his side earn victory over the Cherries via Raheem Sterling and a Tyrone Mings own goal. The win moves City to within 8 points of leaders Chelsea, while Eddie Howe’s team remain 14th and 6 points clear of the relegation zone.
Guardiola’s embrace with Arter on the pitch was a truly fantastic sight. Massive respect to Pep for his kindness and consideration for his opponent even after a crucial game at both ends of the Premier League table.