Pep Guardiola says his legacy ‘is already exceptional’ as insists Champions League won’t define him

Pep Guardiola says his legacy ‘is already exceptional’ as Manchester City boss insists that winning the Champions League will NOT define his time at the club

  • Man City are preparing for their semi-final second leg with Real Madrid
  • Pep Guardiola is still yet to win the Champions League with the club 
  • He insists that the tournament won’t decide his legacy in Manchester  

Pep Guardiola insisted that his ‘exceptional’ legacy at Manchester City is secure – irrespective of tonight’s huge Champions League date with Real Madrid.

City are on the verge of lifting a fifth Premier League title in six seasons but the biggest prize in club football still eludes them ahead of the semi-final second leg.

Guardiola told his players that they are ‘blessed’ to have a chance of reaching a second European final in three years as they look to capitalise on the 1-1 draw in the Bernabeu and keep their Treble dreams alive.

‘The legacy is that we’ve had one hell of a time and for many years they will remember a generation of players,’ Guardiola said.

‘My legacy is already exceptional. For years they scored lots of goals and conceded very few, we won lots of things and won very well.

Pep Guradiola was speaking ahead of his side’s semi-final second leg with Real Madrid

‘People should remember that. It would be a good book. Whether or not they will remember us I don’t know but we have had a good time. I won’t be judged [at the club] on the Champions League.’

Guardiola – who joked there will be no ‘overthinking’ with his team selection – has always maintained that the club’s board have placed no pressure on him to deliver in Europe, although Kyle Walker revealed the players feel as if they owe it to the hierarchy.

‘For the owners, for the amount of money they’ve pumped in and the investment, we owe it to them,’ Walker said.

‘Against Chelsea [in the 2021 final] we didn’t perform as well as we could. We know it was below par on the day. It’s big to every one of us in that dressing room.

‘We’ve gone through rough moments and hopefully this will be the icing on the cake to make history and put this club on the Champions League map.

‘It’s a massive week for the club. We’ve been more than confident at the Etihad in the last few years in the Champions League.’

Guardiola added: ‘The players don’t have to put much pressure for the owners or me. They have to do it for themselves. They don’t owe us anything.

City are still looking to win the Champions League for the first time in their history

City are still looking to win the Champions League for the first time in their history

‘They have to just play as well as they can. It’s not necessary to tell them how much this means. They know it. They felt it last season. We are blessed to be here.’

City have not lost a home match in Europe for five years but Luka Modric, who is hunting a sixth European crown with Real, believes the visitors are built to wreck that record.

‘We’re eager to get going. We need to enjoy it, live every minute,’ Modric said. ‘All these titles speak for themselves. We’ve created a dynasty. You have this in your head, it gives you extra motivation.

‘We feel comfortable in these kind of matches. The history of the club obliges you to give the maximum in this competition. I’m proud of what we’ve done and achieved. It’s something to be admired.’