Pep Guardiola’s mindset is to simply enjoy Man City’s Champions League lead and not worry about talking about a “catastrophe” if they still can’t win Europe’s elite club competition.
Guardiola won the Champions League twice while in charge of Barcelona, but could not add to that success in other successful periods at the helm of Bayern Munich and City.
Longtime Premier League champions City have suffered repeated setbacks in Europe, doomed to defeat by Monaco, Liverpool, Tottenham and Lyon in the play-offs of Guardiola’s first four seasons.
City then reached the final in the 2020–21 season but again lost to Chelsea.
Last year saw a painful setback in the semi-finals at the hands of future champions Real Madrid, which increased outside pressure on one of the greatest managers of modern times.
But before reaching the play-offs again against RB Leipzig on Wednesday, Guardiola showed that he had learned to look at life in a very different way – influenced by the negative outlook of others.
“From the first season, I figured it out,” he said at the beginning. “I come here and people say, ‘You came here to win the Champions League.’
Guardiola then added: “I would say that if my career ended tomorrow, if I couldn’t become a manager literally tomorrow, I would be more than blessed with what I did at Barcelona, Bayern and here in Europe. and other competitions.
“I could never count on the career I made in that short time. Not only the success that we have achieved together over these 13-14 years, but also the way we played, I like it. I couldn’t ask more.
“We want to do our best. What will happen will happen. After all, fate is already predetermined. We will do our best as we did. Sometimes we were close, sometimes not, sometimes closer.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) November 7, 2022
“This is my feeling. I lived this position. I had a feeling that what we have done, all of us over the years, no matter what happens, is doomed to failure.
“Whatever I do personally in the future, whatever I do in the past, I will fail. Nothing will be enough.
“When I found out about this, I was just having fun, enjoying being at this press conference. After, a good dinner with good wine, watching Liverpool-Madrid, a bit of Napoli, always nice, prepare the game well.
“Leave it to the players: come on guys, try again.”
Guardiola said he started to feel that way “a long time ago” but “mostly in City”.
He continued, “Everyone thought it was going to be a disaster if you didn’t win some prizes. But I don’t know if everyone puts such a point of view on themselves.
“I don’t want to put pressure on myself. I’m happy to be here.
“When I arrived, I never thought that we should win the Premier League every year or that we should win three or four Champions Leagues every year. Other than Real Madrid, the rest can’t do that.
“We’re just trying to do what we’ve done. The last two seasons we were very close and showed very good games. Let’s try again.”