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Pep Guardiola makes Champions League admission on which Man City will be ‘judged’

‘If I was manager of Real Madrid I could understand it, but here, I don’t know,’ Guardiola said ahead of City’s clash with RB Leipzig

Richard Jolly
Senior Football Correspondent
Monday 13 March 2023 13:47 GMT
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Guardiola - Experience means nothing, football is unpredictable

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City are judged on whether or not they win the Champions League and always will be.

City have won the Premier League and the Carabao Cup four times each under Guardiola, as well as one FA Cup, set a record by getting 100 points into 2017-18 and became the first English club to do a domestic treble the following season.

But they have never won the Champions League, losing the final in 2021, and face RB Leipzig in the second leg of their last-16 tie after drawing 1-1 in Germany. City are still in three competitions this season but Guardiola is aware verdicts will be reached on the basis of how they fare in Europe.

He said: “It’s public opinion. It doesn’t mean I agree with that but, absolutely, I’ll be judged on that. On day one since I arrived here, in the first game in Champions League, the first time sitting here, people said I was here to win the Champions League. I said ‘what’?

“If I was manager of Real Madrid – that is not going to happen – I could understand it, but here, I don’t know. But I accept it. As much as I go through it’s not going to change that.

“It’s the same with many theories about this club: we cannot control it. It’s nice at the start of season you are the main candidate and the main favourites to win, even though we’ve not won it. The reality is on the pitch: 95 mins, do your best, against teams like this.”

Guardiola after the 2021 final defeat to Chelsea (Getty Images)

Guardiola admitted it has been a tough campaign for City as they struggle to put together the winning run to overhaul Arsenal at the top of the Premier League.

He said: “It has been a difficult season for all of us, me included, with the World Cup and many things.”

City also face Burnley in the FA Cup before the international break and Guardiola wants to ensure they are still fighting on three fronts after the international games.

He added: “To be alive for the last two and a half months, extend our stay in the competitions and be close to Arsenal, it will be good.”

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