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 UEFA Champions League.
Manchester City’s wait for European football’s top club prize will go on after they lost 6-5 on aggregate to Real Madrid on Wednesday 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 had much to say.
He 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 UEFA Champions League. They did it to be there in all competitions, in every season, compete, compete, compete until the end.
“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.”
Guardiola insisted he “cannot live” for European glory alone –— and suggested Manchester City would be criticised even if they did win the UEFA 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.” Agency report