Guardiola: “Playing a good game doesn’t help to beat Real Madrid”


The manager of Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, has assured that to win a tie against Real Madrid “it doesn’t work” just to play “a good game”, for which he has appealed not to trust with the triumph of the first leg of the semifinals at the Etihad Stadium, and has warned that they will probably have to “play even better” than they did then to get through.

“The game of the past is past. This is another story. We will go to Madrid, we will try to do it again and better. We are prepared to do it,” he declared at a press conference. “Surely we have to play even better than in the first leg to get through. But maybe we can play worse and get through too. Football is unpredictable,” he continued.

Regarding the first leg, he acknowledged that it was “very nice and open”, and that his players ended up happy despite the narrow victory (4-3). “The quality of the two teams meant that there were seven goals. I don’t know if they asked the City players, but we were happy. It could have gone better, but it could also have gone worse, in football you never know. We knew it was It was a question of two games, which was not going to be decided at the Etihad. To beat Real Madrid you have to play two good games, only one is not enough”, he stressed.

The Catalan coach, who explained that his “experience” in these rounds “does not guarantee anything”, said that Tuesday’s meeting is “a great test”. “It’s great luck, because it means being in the semifinals of the ‘Champions’. It’s the best test we can find to reach a final of the ‘Champions'”, he warned.

“We are two good teams, we saw it a week ago. They are champions in Spain, we are trying to be here. Being in the semifinal and trying to be in our second consecutive final is our goal,” he continued.

In addition, the coach of Santpedor recognized that he does not take the 0-4 of FC Barcelona at the Bernabéu this season as a reference to beat the whites. “I haven’t talked to Xavi about Madrid. He has players that I don’t have and I have players that he doesn’t have. He’s no use,” he said. “I saw it from above, I didn’t see it live, I saw the ‘highlights’. Benzema doesn’t play that day, I know that Carlo did something that he normally doesn’t do… I can’t rescue things from that game”, he added about that match.

He also praised the career of Carlo Ancelotti, the first coach to win the five major leagues in Europe. “I congratulate him for winning the Spanish league. I admire the trajectory of the professionals who have achieved so much; he has been in the best countries and has had fantastic teams, he has done an incredible job in many places, always with great football. It was lucky meet him,” he said.

In another order of things, Guardiola confirmed that he will not be able to count on defender John Stones, while Kyle Walker travels with the team and it will be on Tuesday itself when they decide whether or not he can play at the Santiago Bernabéu. “He has trained and tomorrow I will decide,” he explained.

Finally, when asked if he would pass Real Madrid as champion of LaLiga Santander this Tuesday, he assured that “these are UEFA’s things”. “I understand that you ask me something about LaLiga, and I congratulate you as spokesman for the club. But this is the ‘Champions League'”, he concluded.

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