champions-league

The Man City job will be incomplete without Champions League triumph

Pep Guardiola insisted a desire to win the Champions League was not his only motivation for signing a new Manchester City contract, but he accepts the job would feel incomplete without a European triumph.

Guardiola secured an extension at City last month, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2024-25 season.

City have enjoyed great domestic success under the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona manager, winning the Premier League four times in the past five seasons.

However, a Champions League victory has eluded them. They lost to Chelsea in the 2021 final and succumbed to Real Madrid in last season’s semi-finals.

Guardiola knows it will be a blemish on his record if City cannot end their run of misfortune in the competition before he leaves.

“I admit it’s the trophy we want and of course it wouldn’t be complete – my tenure here – if we don’t win it,” Guardiola told reporters ahead of City’s EFL Cup clash with Liverpool.

“But that’s not the only reason why I extended the contract, absolutely not. What does it mean if for the last 11 months we haven’t played in the Champions League?

“Of course I will do everything in this time, we are together, we will try as we tried before. Of course it is the trophy that we do not have and we will try to do it.”

City’s trophy count under Guardiola stands at 11, but the 51-year-old is hugely grateful for the faith shown in him by the club’s management.

“I said many times what I had here. Thank you very much for the trust they have in me,” he said. “It would be difficult to repay what these many years, the board, all people have shown me.

“It’s hard for me to turn them down because they still want me and my staff to try to do our best.

“I don’t have enough words to express the incredible gratitude for this club.”

After hosting Liverpool on Thursday, City restart their Premier League campaign against Leeds United on December 28.

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