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Guardiola compares Champions League challenge to that of Jordan and Niklaus

Although Manchester City and their manager Pep Guardiola have a strong desire to win the Champions League, they are aware that their ambition does not guarantee success

Pep Guardiola has expressed his desire to win the Champions League, and when asked about it, he drew comparisons to legendary figures in basketball and golf, sports he loves.

Manchester City will face Bayern Munich, Guardiola’s former club, in the quarter-finals of the competition on Tuesday.

City have made it to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for six consecutive seasons after being eliminated in the last 16 in Guardiola’s first season in charge in 2016-17.

However, they have been unable to win the trophy, with their closest attempt being in the 2021 final when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea, who were led by Thomas Tuchel, now the manager of Bayern Munich.

Guardiola, who is known for his passion for golf and basketball, explained further that winning at the highest level of sports is incredibly challenging, citing the examples of Jack Nicklaus and Michael Jordan.

The Manchester City manager had spent his Sunday watching Bayern’s game with Freiburg and celebrating Jon Rahm’s Masters victory.

Guardiola tells of his appreciation for Golf and Basketball

“We want to try like we tried all the time, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to win,” he added 

“Yesterday they played The Masters. Jack Nicklaus, how many Masters or how many great majors he played in his career, in the 30, 40 years as a golfer… 30 years for four majors, how many, 120 or 130? How many won? Eighteen, wow. Eighteen out of 130, he lost more than he won.

“That is sport. In football, in golf, in basketball. Michael Jordan, the best athlete for me, won six NBA titles. How many years did he play? Sixteen. He lost more than won.

“This game, all games, they are so difficult. It’s important to be here and compete well, do our best knowing that tomorrow at nine o’clock we have to be perfect to try to get a good result to go to Germany [for the second leg].

“It’s no more than that; I live my profession in that way, and after that, I lose, I lose. What’s important is we are still there. My biggest compliment we can do as an organisation, as a team, is still we are there.”

Guardiola is aware that even though Manchester City has been undefeated in their last 12 matches and has scored 21 goals in their previous four matches, it does not guarantee success in a two-legged tie against Bayern.

“In this competition, it’s not about the form you are in in the Premier League or FA Cup,” he said. “It’s about how you perform in these 95 minutes. It doesn’t count what you did three days ago.

“In this competition, you have to be perfect. The question is tomorrow night, be ready.”

Ethan Dempsey
Ethan Dempsey
Ethan is a lifelong football fan. When he is not obsessing over the Premier League games, Ethan likes to read fantasy tomes, watch football documentaries and waste hours upon hours on video games.
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