Manchester City is desperate to win its first Champions League but desire alone will not be enough to claim success in Europe’s top competition, manager Pep Guardiola said ahead of Tuesday’s quarter-final first leg against Bayern Munich.
Guardiola has won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups at City but European success has eluded the manager who won the trophy twice as Barcelona manager.
Under the Spanish manager, City has reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for six straight seasons, with the English club’s best finish being runners-up in 2021.
When asked how much he wanted to win the Champions League title with City, Guardiola on Monday told reporters, “a lot”.
“We want to try. It is an honour to be here against an elite club in Bayern Munich. We will not take it for granted. We have to play two games. Starting tomorrow,” he added.
“The question has been coming every single season. We try every single season. Teams you face are also good too and want to win too. My dream is to live it again. We want to try but that doesn’t mean we are going to win.
“Michael Jordan won six NBA titles, how many years did he play? 16.”
Defender Ruben Dias echoed his manager’s sentiments, saying the tournament was “special” for City.
“We really want to be in it and to see it through. It will be a difficult match, but it is what the competition is all about, beating the best,” Dias told reporters.
“We are happy to be here. Every season the work you have to do is to stay in competitions – the Premier League, the Champions League, all the cups – the biggest goal is to stay in competitions as long as you can.”
On Tuesday, Guardiola and City will come up against Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel in the Champions League for the first time since the German manager’s Chelsea team beat them in the 2021 final.
“(The 2021 final) was a tight game but we forget it and we try again,” Guardiola said. “Sometimes you win when you deserve to, sometimes you lose. I don’t live in the past. It’s part of the game.”
Tuchel took charge of Bayern last month, following the sacking of Julian Nagelsmann.
“I try to figure out the quality they have in all departments. It would have been difficult with Julian Nagelsmann and also will be difficult against Tuchel,” Guardiola said.
“I don’t pay that much attention, more attention on what I do with my team.
“Tuchel is a creative manager. Good build up, good connections between players with good runners who attack the spaces.”