Cape Town - Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says that the club will not sacrifice the Premier League this season for Champions League glory.
The City boss, who won Europe’s top club prize twice as manager of Barcelona, denies that seeing Liverpool take the continental crown last season took the gloss off his own side’s domestic treble.
Guardiola said: “Of course we have to win in Europe because it’s an important tournament and difficult to win.
“But I am not going to go to the casino and gamble everything I have in my pocket on just seven games.
“I want to be happy for 11 months – and winning the Premier League makes me happy.
“Why am I going to wait until February for seven games and put everything on black?
“From my point of view, that’s too risky. To maintain the health and focus of the team, it always has to be the Premier League.
“The Premier League is always the most important thing, the stand-out competition, because it is every weekend.
“I think we will be closer to achieving in Europe when we have more Premier League titles. That is the right process at Manchester City.”
Guardiola is confident Liverpool, Premier League runners-up to City last season and still without a domestic championship since 1990, would agree with him on the importance of winning the home title.
“Of course we would like to win the Champions League - so big respect to Liverpool.
“But is why is that a higher (achievement) than what we did in 11 months?
“I am pretty sure Liverpool would have liked to have won the Premier League, because it is 29 years since they last did.
“It’s incredibly good what they did in the Champions League, but we were better in the league.
“What we did has never been achieved before. It was awesome – and I think my colleagues and football players worldwide know how difficult it is.
“It was the first time in history that a team has won four titles in one season.
“Offer me the same again – even if it meant not winning the Champions League – and I would sign up for it right now.”