Pep Guardiola says he is not bothered by any lack of praise dished out to his Manchester City team, but admitted they may have to win the Champions League to get their full due.
As City prepare to face Liverpool in what many are billing as a Premier League title decider, old allegations re-surfaced about City subverting financial fair play and youth transfer rules. The timing of that has raised a few eyebrows at the club, just before two big clashes with Liverpool and a Champions League quarter-final second leg against Atletico Madrid, with Guardiola dismissing a question about the re-hashed Football Leaks claims, which are also believed to form part of the Premier League’s ongoing investigation.
There is a constant attempt to downplay the achievements of Guardiola and his team, although the manager said that, though he is grateful for the praise, it is the feeling of accomplishment within the club that pleases him the most.
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“We get incredibly good words and compliments,” he said. “We have an incredible history, you know – I will not deny the history of this club in the 70s and 80s, and even going into the Championship.”
He then referenced an MEN Sports article which highlighted the fact that Liverpool, like every other club, has had low parts in its history, and which were solved by spending – City’s huge outlay is sometimes as virtually unique, when every other club has benefited from big cash injections portrays at some point.
“Today I read an article on how Liverpool was on the bottom, and in history you always have these kinds of situations, where you have bad moments,” he said. “But what we feel inside is that we will remember this period with great satisfaction at what we have done.
“Sometimes we are happy but need the proof from outside to get the happiness inside, and that is stupid. If I was sad and then people say it was good, and now I am happy, it makes no sense.”
City have won three Premier League titles, four League Cups and an FA Cup in Guardiola’s time, as well as reaching their first Champions League final. But he acknowledges those people who say the job isn’t done until they have lifted that one elusive trophy.
He added: “Always we are looking for proof from outside that what you are doing is right. I agree with those people who say ‘Yeah, but we didn’t win in Europe, we didn’t win the Champions League’ and maybe they are right. To get this recognition from everyone outside, in the world, you have to conquer Europe.
“Maybe it’s not going to happen, I don’t know. But so far, with what we have done here, we are incredibly happy, because we have fun first of all, and have done many, many good things. That’s my feeling.
“If it’s enough or not enough, it doesn’t matter. Many people have said good things about our team that we appreciate. But in the Premier League to compete for five seasons is a lot of time, and this season, all the time, we have been there.”
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