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Guardiola: I don’t fear Real Madrid, but I respect them a lot

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola insists he doesn’t fear Real Madrid, but has massive respect for the Spanish giants.

On Wednesday, Pep Guardiola’s side welcome Real Madrid to the Etihad Stadium in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie. The first leg finished 3-3 in an entertaining draw at the Bernabeu.

Barcelona legend Guardiola has beaten Real Madrid 12 times and suffered only five defeats in 22 matches.

In his press conference on Tuesday, Guardiola was asked whether he is scared of 14-time Champions League winners Real Madrid.

“I don’t fear them,” Guardiola told reporters. “I respect them a lot. I’ve faced them many times. I respect Real Madrid and if I say I’m scared of them, I would be false.

“I spoke of the condition of the pitch with the best wishes in the world and it’s their decision if they don’t do that. You can believe what you want when I say that. I have to have respect.

There’s the rivalry, you want to beat them and do well. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. But I’m not scared of them and if they beat me — as has happened many times — we will say congratulations and wish them well.

Man City beat Carlo Ancelotti’s side 5-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals of last year’s Champions League and won the trophy for the first time.

“Always has been and always will be [big]. It’s Real Madrid and in this competition it is always a big game,” Guardiola added. “It’s special for me. Of course it is.”

Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake return to training

Guardiola also revealed that Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake have returned to training ahead of the Champions League quarter-final second-leg clash.

“I am going to see at training. He has had one or two training sessions. He feels good with his mood. I don’t know if from the beginning, or from the bench, but he will be with us tomorrow,” he said.

“It is incredibly good news for many reasons. Today at 4 pm we train again so we will see.”

Sam Barton
Sam Barton
Sam Barton fell in love with football during the 98 World Cup and has been fascinated by it ever since. The tactical side of the game is what truly inspires him to think, read and write about football, making him the ideal football writer.
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