Pep Guardiola: Manchester City want to be like Real Madrid

Manchester City have been drawn against 13-time Champions League winner Real Madrid in the Round of 16 this season. The 1st leg is scheduled is to be held on 26th February at Bernabeu.

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Real Madrid have been the most dominant force in Europe. They have won the Champions League four times – including a hattrick – in the last six seasons. Despite their poor league record, Madrid have always been the side to beat for the other teams in Champions League.

On the contrary, the Manchester City players are inexperienced in the Champions League. Among the whole squad, only Claudio Bravo and Scott Carson have won the Champions League in their career.

Pep Guardiola knows Real Madrid from his time as a Barcelona coach. He guided Barcelona to win the Champions League twice. But he has admitted that Manchester City players lack experience in Europe and they want to emulate Real Madrid’s success.

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Guardiola told reporters: “I have an incredible admiration for this club. The players who have played there have played so many times in the [Champions League] final and I don’t know how many times each one has lifted it.”

“Maybe Claudio [Bravo] has won the Champions League and someone else. We don’t have many players who have won it. But we need the desire to win it and be ourselves, We could win it or lose it. But we must be ourselves in the 180 minutes against Real Madrid. It is the real, real test.”

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He further added: “You have players who come to Madrid and pull on the shirt, they know they are defending their history. That makes an extra thing. Not just the spectators and media.”

“They are the club we want to emulate and imitate and we have to be there. I want to go there and at the end of the game I want to say ‘we were what we are’. This is the most important thing in these types of competitions.”

“We need to go and try and do it at one of the biggest, nicest and most prestigious stadiums. After that, we will try with our weapons and try to score the goals. If we cannot, we will congratulate them and try and improve for the next time.

“For us being here is exciting, so good and we will try to do our best, knowing we play against a team who have won 13 Champions Leagues and it is a king.”

“This is the last 16 but maybe the quarter-finals, maybe the semi-finals, maybe the final. You have to beat Madrid, you have to beat Barcelona, you have to beat Bayern Munich. You have to beat the big, big big clubs in this competition if you are to try and win it.”

Real Madrid suddenly find themselves in a bit of mess. They have drawn one and lost another in their last two matches, which resulted in surrendering the top spot of the LaLiga to Barcelona.

Meanwhile, Manchester City have won two straight Premier League matches without conceding a goal. But Real Madrid are a lot different in Europe and they always rise up to the occasion. So it will be an interesting match at Bernabeu.

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Rahul Roy
I am a computer guy by profession and a sports fanatic by choice.

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