Pep Guardiola has made it clear “he will not kill himself” to lift the Champions League trophy with Manchester City
The Spaniard’s silverware-laden managerial career at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City include 28 major trophies but only two Champions League crowns.
Although he has enjoyed massive success in both the Bundesliga and the Premier League since leaving the Camp Nou, Guardiola has struggled to win the Champions League since the victorious 2010/11 campaign with the Catalans.
The 48-year-old’s quest for his elusive first title in Europe’s top-tier has begun with a 3-0 dismantling of Shakhtar Donetsk on the road and continues with a home clash with Dinamo Zagreb this midweek.
In the build-up to Tuesday’s showdown at the Etihad, Guardiola has pointed out that he “will not kill himself” to get to the top of Europe with City.
“I want to win it, but if I don’t, it will not change my life, I am not going to kill myself,” Guardiola told a news conference, as reported by ESPN.
“In my first press conference, it was the same question. You are here to win the Champions League, and I say I spoke to Ferran [Soriano], Khaldoon [Al Mubarak] and they didn’t tell me that.
“Sometimes you take a few years, and sometimes you take one year.
“Barcelona is my club in my heart, and 1992 was the first one, and Barcelona was born a long time ago. I am sorry, I am not going to live the next ten months thinking if I don’t win the Champions League, it would be a disaster because my life is quite good.”
Wrapping up the Champions League title away from Barcelona would be a career-defining achievement for the Spanish manager that would stand out among his peers.
However, Guardiola’s City is yet to break into the competition semi-finals, which is the first stumbling block he has to overcome in his way to glory.
The reigning Premier League holders came closest to reaching that milestone last season when they were bowed out on away goals after a tense 4-4 aggregate draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals.