Guardiola urges Man City to seal place among Europe's greats

By Sports Desk August 08, 2020

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City must win the Champions League to be considered one of the competition's great clubs.

The City manager also vowed it should not be considered "a disaster" if his team miss out on European success during his tenure, yet he can now sniff glory after the last-16 victory over mighty Real Madrid.

With LaLiga's champions ousted, and Serie A winners Juventus also eliminated, every team through to the quarter-finals will sense a genuine opportunity.

Lyon, the team that edged past Juve on away goals, are next in City's crosshairs, with their meeting scheduled for next Saturday in Lisbon.

Guardiola says he "would love" to bring Champions League glory to City, having missed out with Bayern Munich after achieving 2009 and 2011 successes while in charge at Barcelona.

He recognises that although City are becoming part of the competition's establishment, there is still a next step they have to take.

"You have to lift it, this title, to be 'okay, we've got it'," Guardiola said.

"We beat Real Madrid, of course for us it's so important. We know the credit, the value, the prestige that Real has.

"They are a massive club. To compete with them, beat them twice, for this season and for the future it will be so good."

Guardiola agreed when it was suggested the rest of the tournament could feel like a World Cup, saying it would feel "quite similar".

The last eight teams standing will head to Lisbon for one-off games in each remaining round rather than two-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals.

"Now every game is a final. You are in, or you are out. We will see a final against Lyon," he said.

But Guardiola's overriding message, as he spoke shortly after his side saw off Madrid, was that Champions League success can rest on fine margins, pointing to the errors from the usually unflappable Raphael Varane that helped City fend off Zinedine Zidane's side.

Whether City experience Champions League success during his reign or not, Guardiola does not see it defining his stay in Manchester.

"I live in Manchester, and an incredible club will be my memories. This is my happiness. Of course, we are going to try. But this competition is so difficult," he said

"But I don't want to live right now being here [saying] if we don't win the Champions League it will be a disaster.

"I know what I live is great. I've met incredible people. This is my life. And is it going to change my relations because I lift a title? Honestly, no.

"In Munich, we won a lot of titles but we didn't win the Champions League. Am I going to tell you I was unhappy in Munich? No. That I don't have friends in Munich? I have many.

"We're going to put in everything. But sometimes the opponents are better. Or you get wrong decisions of the strikers, or mistakes by the defenders. It's part of the life, it's part of the process, part of football. It's little details, margins, it happens."

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