Pep Guardiola defends under-fire Arsenal star and claims he's an 'exceptional player'

Guardiola has jumped to the defence of Luiz

Manchester City and Arsenal meet at Wembley in the FA Cup semi-final this weekend. 

Pep Guardiola's side will be heavy favourites. They have beaten the Gunners in each of their last SEVEN meetings - with the run stretching back to 2017. 

Most recently, City ran out 3-0 winners at the Etihad in June and won by the same scoreline at the Emirates earlier this season. 

Many Arsenal fans blame David Luiz for their side's downfall in the most recent meeting. 

The Brazilian came on as a substitute early on for the injured Pablo Mari but got himself sent off shortly after half-time and conceded a penalty. 

Luiz has long been seen as a 'liability' amongst many fans and pundits, with some even questioning why the north London club extended his contract.

But Guardiola has a message for all the Luiz haters - and has complimented the Brazilian's 'incredible' career, mentality and personality. 

Guardiola has defended Luiz from the media

"I have incredible respect for his career. He's an exceptional player with an incredible mentality and especially personality," Guardiola said, per AS.

"I laugh a lot about all the pundits, they were defenders and believe they didn't make one mistake in their careers when they played for 20, 10 or 15 years.

"I like that he is still playing football and I'm pretty sure he's going to make more good actions and mistakes as that's part of the game, but with a lot of dignity. 

Guardiola hits out at the media over Luiz

"I have a lot of respect for this player. A lot."

GIVEMESPORT's Ollie Browning says:

That's a very strong defence of a man many love to hate. But this doesn't seem like mind games ahead of an FA Cup semi-final.

It genuinely seems like Pep has great respect for Luiz, who to be fair, has achieved a lot in the game. 

Luiz has won a lot in the game

He's won league titles in Portugal, France and England, lifted the Champions League and Europa League and also won domestic cups in all three of the countries he's played in too. 

That's nothing to be sniffed at. Perhaps it's time we all start putting some respect on Luiz's name?

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