Pep: I wasn't brought to Man City to win Champions League

By Sports Desk May 06, 2022

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City have already achieved their aims by being contenders in every competition, insisting he was not brought to the Etihad Stadium to win the Champions League.

City's wait for European football's top club prize will go on after they lost 6-5 on aggregate to Real Madrid following an incredible semi-final collapse.

But in a lengthy response to a question about his players' chances of ever winning the competition ahead of Sunday's Premier League game against Newcastle United, Guardiola explained how the club view success differently from "the people" on the outside.

"I don't know [if this team can win it]," he said. "It's a question I cannot answer. Before Madrid, I did not know if we were able to win it.

"I don't have an answer to all your questions. Football is incredibly unpredictable – we saw it.

"This is my feeling, maybe I'm wrong: Abu Dhabi didn't buy this club and invest in these incredible facilities, invest in players, like a lot of other clubs in the world, to be what we lived the last years.

"It's not to win just the Champions League. They did it to be there in all competitions, in every season, compete, compete, compete until the end.

"In the Champions League, we want to do it – maybe I'm not good enough, nobody knows what happens with another manager – but we want to be there as much as possible in all competitions. For us, it's an honour.

"There are people who I know didn't appreciate what this club is doing. Maybe it's not enough, but for me it's incredible, remarkable.

"Being in the semi-finals of the Champions League again, after last season, making steps to be there and compete against an outstanding team in this competition, the way we did it, home and away...

"We were close – not close enough, because the team who wins deserves it – but we were there. This is my feeling.

"It always depends on winning the Champions League, winning the Champions League, winning the Premier League, winning the Premier League – nothing about what we have done since the takeover one decade ago, with all the players that went before, the managers that went before – it doesn't make sense.

"We will try again next season; it will be difficult, because the teams are good. I know the people want to be in that way, I accept it from day one, I have to handle it, but it's not a problem for me.

"It's not about that; it's about in the Premier League again being there, in the FA Cup semi-finals again, in the Champions League semi-finals, this season it could not happen but even the Carabao Cup four times in a row.

"This is where the club want to be. That's why they ask me to come here, for that.

"They never ask me to win any one title. They never ask me anything, the club, if anything just to play as good as possible and compete with all the teams in England and all the teams in Europe we have to play. It's completely opposite to what people think about it.

"I'm not saying it's fair or not fair; I'm not saying that.

"People say if they this group of players or this manager doesn't win a title, they're failures. I accept it, but I completely disagree, completely. We know how difficult it is, but I accept it.

"I'm not going to make it a thing where I am right and you're wrong. You can do whatever, say whatever, but as a club, the feeling that we have, it's to try to do it.

"We are sad, of course we are sad – we were close. The players wanted to play the final. But for this club to compete with Real Madrid the way that we did was a joy.

"How close we were, wow, but we could not do it, okay. I say congratulations to Liverpool and Real Madrid; if they are in the final, they deserve to be in the final.

"It's important that next season we are going to try; if it doesn't work, we are going to try again; if it doesn't work, we are going to try again.

"And in the Premier League, the Carabao Cup next season, we want to go further than we were this season.

"This is when we became a club, you know, a club where this club is great, it's good. Look at all the big clubs in Europe, who every year are there, are there, are there; in the last years, we are there.

"Sometimes it's not possible. Sometimes you put in everything and you do not achieve it. What is the problem?

"Okay, we did not achieve it. The next day, you try to do it; in the good moments, take credit; in the bad moments, more sad than usual. The next day, you try to do it. The club is good for this."

Guardiola insisted he "cannot live" for European glory alone – and suggested City would be criticised even if they did win the Champions League.

Asked if the defeat gave him added hunger, he replied: "No, always I am starving.

"I know the people outside here demand Champions League, Champions League, Champions League, we know it, but I cannot live [just for that].

"The moment we win the Champions League, they'll say look at the money we spent. If not, they spent all that money and didn't win the Champions League. We are the only club in the world in the last 10, 15, 20 years who spent money."

Related items

  • New York RB take top spot in East as City, Union slip up New York RB take top spot in East as City, Union slip up

    New York RB moved to top spot in the Eastern Conference in the MLS, defeating Sporting KC 1-0 on Sunday.

    Gerhard Stuber's side looked to absorb pressure for the majority of the match and captain Aaron Long put them ahead in the 53rd minute, heading in at the back post after a finely worked corner routine.

    Choice became necessity after a VAR review that forced Sean Nealis off in the 73rd minute, but they were able to hold out against a Sporting KC that failed to penetrate in possession.

    The win makes for the first time NYRB have managed consecutive wins in the MLS since April, also putting them on 32 points, now two points clear of Philadelphia Union.

    The Union were in a similarly dour contest, generating only two shots in the penalty area from open play in a goal-less draw away to Columbus Crew.

    The Crew had an opportunity to take the lead in the 19th minute, only for Andre Blake to save Pedro Santos' penalty.

    New Yoirk City are a further point back on 29 points, after they played out a 2-2 draw at home to Atlanta United, while the New England Revolution and Cincinnati also managed a 2-2 draw.

    In the Western Conference meanwhile, Real Salt Lake critically slipped up in a chance to make up ground following LAFC's loss on Saturday, going down 3-2 to Minnesota United.

    RSL were down 3-0 at one stage until Jefferson Savarino inspired a dramatic late fightback, scoring and assisting for substitute Anderson Julio within a five-minute span.

    It was not enough however, with LAFC maintaining a five-point gap to second-placed Austin FC.

    Elsewhere in the West, Nashville and Portland Timbers played out a 2-2 draw, while Houston Dynamo lost 2-1 at home to Charlotte FC.

    In Sunday's final game, the San Jose Earthquakes defeated the Chicago Fire 2-1 via Benjamin Kikanovic's brace, with his first coming after the Quakes extraordinarily hit the frame of the goal twice in the same passage.

  • Trincao returns to Barcelona as Wolves opt against triggering option Trincao returns to Barcelona as Wolves opt against triggering option

    Francisco Trincao has returned to Barcelona after Wolves opted against triggering their purchase option.

    The 22-year-old winger joined Wolves on loan last July, reportedly paying £5.1million (€5.9m) to borrow him for the season.

    As part of the deal, Wolves secured an option to buy the Portugal international for £25million (€29m) at the end of the loan, but that rarely looked a realistic outcome.

    Trincao featured 28 times for Wolves in the Premier League, though only 16 of those appearances were as a starter, and he had a hand in just four goals.

    Despite Wolves letting Trincao return to Barcelona, they will – according to a report published on Sunday by the West Midlands-based Express and Star – receive 20 per cent of his next transfer fee.

    He heads back to Barca with his future at Camp Nou unclear, as the club are keen to offload deadwood amid something of a financial crisis.

    Barca reportedly spent €31million in January 2020 to bring Trincao to the club from Sporting Braga, but his impact has been largely minimal.

  • Rennes coach Genesio would welcome reunion with 'high-level' Barcelona star Umtiti Rennes coach Genesio would welcome reunion with 'high-level' Barcelona star Umtiti

    Rennes coach Bruno Genesio has not played down reports suggesting a move for Barcelona's Samuel Umtiti, adding the star is a "high-level player".

    The Ligue 1 outfit have been linked for a move for the France international, who endured a torrid 2021-22 campaign at Camp Nou rocked by injury.

    A Europa League qualifying finish for Rennes has left Genesio seeking "sports guarantees" in regard to his transfer aims, and the World Cup winner - whom he previously coached at Lyon - would fit the bill.

    "Sam is a player I know perfectly well," he stated. "I trained him as a youth player and then in the Lyon first team. That creates a bond.

    "You all know his history, his qualities [and] the setbacks he had last year. But he is still a high-level player, and we are interested in high-level players," 

    Genesio touched on his desire to reinforce Rennes' squad too, adding that he needs an influx of fresh talent to replicate their 2021-22 feats.

    "I want to have sports guarantees," he stated. "We just had a very good season. To continue, we need a quality group.

    "I needed to have a lot of answers in the backbone of the team that we were going to be able to maintain and what we were able to do in terms of reinforcements."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.