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

  • 'Stranger things have happened' says Sctotland's Morgan on potential Germany upset 'Stranger things have happened' says Sctotland's Morgan on potential Germany upset

    Lewis Morgan believes Scotland can surprise Germany ahead of their Euro 2024 opener against the hosts this Friday. 

    Steve Clarke's side travel to Munich in search of their first victory over their opponents since 1999, having failed to beat Die Mannschaft in their previous four encounters.

    The New York Red Bulls winger was a late arrival in Scotland's provisional squad after it was announced Ben Doak had to withdraw through injury, and made it into the travelling group of 26. 

    Morgan ended his six-year absence from the international stage with a substitute appearance in a 2-2 draw against Finland at Hampden Park last week to earn his third cap for his country, 2,193 days since his last. 

    The 27-year-old has scored nine goals in 16 MLS appearances so far this season in the Eastern Conference, and believes his side have every chance of starting their Group A campaign with a victory. 

    "Absolutely, stranger things have happened in football," Morgan said about the possibility of Scotland upsetting the host nation.

    "We've got a really, really talented squad here, a good group of players playing at the highest level in world football.

    "There's no reason why we can't go there and get something, but we can only do that if we give the best version of ourselves and stick to the game plan."

    Following Friday's fixture against Germany, the Scots will face Switzerland before concluding their group campaign in Stuttgart against Hungary, with the hopes of reaching the knockout stages of an international competition for the first time in their history. 

  • Lewandowski not thinking of Poland retirement ahead of Euro 2024 Lewandowski not thinking of Poland retirement ahead of Euro 2024

    Robert Lewandowski has no immediate plans to call time on his Poland career post-Euro 2024 as he battles to regain fitness in time for the tournament.

    The Barcelona striker sustained a thigh injury in Monday's 2-1 friendly win over Turkiye and has been ruled out of Poland's opening match.

    While Lewandowski will play no part against the Netherlands on Sunday, he will hope to be back to face both Austria and France in a tough looking Group D.

    The former Bayern Munich ace turns 36 in August, but he is not yet thinking about retiring from duty with his national side.

    "I cannot say that is yes or not," he told CNN. "It depends on many different things. 

    "Physically, I am feeling very well. I don't see many differences, especially in this year, than before.

    "But if I feel something inside, in my heart, saying maybe it's time to say goodbye, then I know that the time is coming.

    "Until now, I didn't feel this kind of feeling, so it's still not this kind of way that I am thinking about this."

    Poland are competing at their fourth successive European Championship after beating Wales on penalties in their play-off final in March.

    Only once have they advanced through the group stage in those most recent three appearances, but Lewandowski is hopeful his side can make an impact in Germany.

    "I think we can play good football," he said. "We know that we are not the favourites in the group stage.

    "But I remember the last World Cup, we played the first half against France really well. I think we surprised them. I hope that we will also surprise them now at the Euros.

    "[France] are so strong, even if they put a second or third XI out, still they can fight to win Europe. But you have to believe.

    "If we are playing as a team, that are going in one direction, really we can achieve something. I don't know what that means in the end, but in football, everything is possible."

  • Spain's strong bond will be key asset at Euro 2024, says Pedri Spain's strong bond will be key asset at Euro 2024, says Pedri

    Barcelona midfielder Pedri believes a strong bond between Spain's players will be their greatest asset as they aim to secure a fourth European crown. 

    The La Masia graduate will feature in his third international competition for his nation, having become the youngest Spanish player to feature at the European Championships in 2021 at 18 years, six months and 18 days, breaking Miguel Tendillo's previous record. 

    Pedri was named the young player of the tournament three years ago, and new head coach Luis de la Fuente has opted to favour youth rather than experience at Euro 2024. 

    De la Fuente named his 26-man squad, with 11 of the players registered having only 10 or fewer caps, and only Alvaro Morata and Jesus Navas have managed over 50 appearances for their country.

    However, Pedri believes that despite inexperience on the international stage, La Roja have several leaders in the dressing room to help lead them to glory in Germany.

    "I think that these last few days we have talked about it, that the greatest asset we have is that we are a team, we are a family both on and off the field," he said. 

    "The leader is the team as a whole. There are many players that are captains that help us a lot, they act as leaders, but I think the big difference with all the teams is that we are a team and there is no leader who stands out from the rest."

    Spain concluded their preparations for the tournament with an emphatic 5-1 win over Northern Ireland in Mallorca, with Pedri scoring twice in the first half. 

    La Roja kick-start their Group B campaign against Croatia on June 15 in Berlin, before taking on Italy, the defending champions, and Albania. 

    "It's important to get off to a good start. But we've already seen that many teams have won a big tournament despite losing their first game," Pedri said.

    "You don't have to be anxious about that game. It is clear that we are going to go out to win and we are not going to want to leave anything out on the pitch and above all, that, go out with everything.

    "We are really looking forward to it, we are very young and we are really looking forward to it starting now."

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.