Wednesday, October 19

Pep Guardiola admits Man City needs time to meet Barca standards

Pep Guardiola has said that Manchester City cannot be expected to compete on equal terms with Barcelona due to the clubs' respective history in the Champions League ahead of their showdown clash on Wednesday. Guardiola won the Champions League twice in four glorious years as Barca coach between 2008 and 2012 and returns to the Camp Nou for the second time as a visiting boss just two months into his reign at City.

"Manchester City was 35 years without competing in Europe. That is a long time," Guardiola said on Tuesday.

City reached the last four for the first time in their history last season under Manuel Pellegrini, but lost all four meetings against Barcelona on the only other occasions they've even reached the knockout phase in the previous two seasons.

"You are an important team in Europe when you are in Europe many times. That is the target for Manchester City in the next five, six, seven years, to be competing every year."
"This stadium is part of my life. I grew up here," he added.
"I have a lot of passion for the spectators, and we had an unbelievable generation of players. "It was a part of my life, but I closed the chapter and (as Bayern Munich coach) in Munich I opened a new one and now in Manchester a new one again."

City head to Barcelona on the back of a three-game winless streak after Guardiola won his first 10 games in charge.

And the Catalan coach believes he will learn much from how prepared his side are to compete in Europe by facing the best team in the world in his opinion.

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