Champions League

Guardiola unconcerned by lack of Champions League success

2019-08-30 19:04
Pep Guardiola
Pep Guardiola (Getty Images)

Manchester - Pep Guardiola says he will not judge himself too harshly if his spell as Manchester City manager ends without winning the Champions League.

The draw for this year's competition this week appeared to offer City a favourable route into the knock-out stages, pairing them with Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk, Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb and Italian side Atalanta.

After Guardiola led City to every domestic trophy last season, there appears more pressure than ever on the highly-decorated coach to land the European crown for his wealthy owners.

But Guardiola insists the prospect of failure in the tournament for a fourth successive season does not concern him, despite a record of two quarter-final appearances and one in the last 16 while at the Etihad.

"It's important, I know it's important and if it happens it will be important," he said.

"But I will be the same guy, I'll wake up in the morning, work a lot, go to sleep as early as possible, eat good, take care of myself as best as possible and love the people I love.

"I'm going to do my best but it's not going to change my life.

"When I say thank you to everybody for my time here it's not going to change my opinion about this title or that title.

"We are happy with what we've done so far, we came here to play the way we want to play.

"If we're good enough we'll fight until the end, if not we're going to try next season."

Guardiola's star players endured mixed fortunes on the international front this week, with right-back Kyle Walker being left out of the England squad by Gareth Southgate.

However, City centre-half Aymeric Laporte was called up by the French national team - the first time in the three years he has been in their squad - for the upcoming games with Albania and Andorra.

"I was a little bit surprised at first," said Guardiola of Walker's omission. "But I'm not involved.

"We'll respect the decision. Kyle is coming back stronger. I understand him and support Gareth.

"For me Aymeric is the best left-sided centre defender in Europe.

"I'm incredibly grateful to Didier Deschamps. Hopefully he can play good and stay there for a long time."

Walker's situation may soon be complicated at club level, as well as the national team, with Guardiola saying their summer signing from Juventus, Portuguese international Joao Cancelo, is ready to start his City career.

He will be blooded in the busy schedule that follows next week's international break.

"When we come back, we play with Norwich, then go to the Ukraine, then another game here," said Guardiola.

"It starts the real season. Joao we're delighted what we've seen but he arrived late.

"There are many things Kyle knows completely and Joao is starting to understand what to do."

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
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