Spanish gaffer, Pep Guardiola, has disclosed that his Manchester City legacy hinges on whether he can deliver Champions League glory for the club after they fell at the final hurdle last season.
The Premier League champions start their campaign against Bundesliga side RB Leipzig on Wednesday, less than four months after their painful 1-0 defeat to Chelsea.
But Guardiola said that he would not be dwelling on the missed opportunity in Porto — City’s first-ever Champions League final — and that it would be a mistake to regard last season’s European campaign as a failure.
“Every season is different,” he said at his pre-match press conference. “We made an incredible tournament last season but now we start the new one.
“People can say Man City was a failure but it was an incredible achievement last season, playing really well in many of the games and losing against a big contender,” he added.
The City boss, 50, has learned to live with the perception that he needs to win the Champions League to be judged a success at the club, even though he has led them to three Premier League titles and other silverware.
“I accept it,” said Guardiola, who lifted the Champions League trophy as Barcelona manager in 2009 and 2011 but has not won it since in his spells at Bayern Munich and City.
“Every year is the same. If I win the Champions League I will be happy for the club. If I’m not able to do it, I’m not able. After, you can judge the success of my period.”
Spain midfielder Rodri said that the City team had no regrets over last season’s near-miss in Europe’s top club competition, adding that the players were determined to go one better this season
“We have no regrets,” he said. “We will learn from this experience. The Champions League is decided by little differences. We have to build another building — a huge building — this season to achieve the Champions League.”