Guardiola puts on the blindfold before facing Real Madrid

Pep Guardiola, Manchester City coach, says it is “practically impossible” to beat Real Madrid in the Champions League twice in a row. “Beating Real Madrid twice in a row is practically impossible in this competition. The goal is not easy,” he said at the press conference prior to the first leg of the quarterfinals that will be played this Tuesday at the Santiago Bernabéu.

The Spanish coach analyzed the tie, without wanting to take into account the past between both teams in the competition. “Last season we won and the previous season we lost. It’s like a classic between us. I don’t have the feeling that it’s the same situation as last season.. We have new players and it is a totally different game. We feel very strong and very confident about playing the second leg at home, but here the games are very long for different reasons,” he said.

“They are very aggressive and dangerous, with great transitions and incredible rhythm. Not only do you have to control the game, you have to try to hurt them and score goals. There we have to try to find a way to control things. We have to try to impose our way of playing,” he added.

Furthermore, he appreciated the fact that Carlo Ancelotti, coach of Real Madrid, said that in last year’s second leg, in City’s 4-0 victory, his team did not play with personality. “I am not going to disagree with Ancelotti. I have been at Barcelona and the comparison with Real Madrid is almost the same. In that game we were better, not because Real Madrid played badly. We did many things well, but in these Clubs often judge that you have not played well and I try to think that the other was better,” he explained.

“We had an immense emotional level. We got a good result here. First by reaching the final, because of what happened the previous year, with the 0-1 we had to sentence and then Rodrygo did his thing. That was very present in the preparation. But tomorrow will be different. So something has to change. We are missing pieces in defense… we will have to look for something. Furthermore, in the first leg you tend to speculate more, although we will try to do it as little as possible,” he highlighted.

Guardiola stated that The “liberating” thing is not beating Real Madrid but “winning the Champions League, as they did last season. “As a club, it was a kind of relief. We were doing a lot of good things, but it was said that we had not won the ‘Champions’. I would say that a little over ten years ago in the ‘Champions’, before we did not participate in this competition and “Competing now is experience for the future. We are not like other clubs that have been playing this competition for 70 years, we are newcomers. But we have achieved it. And if we have been able to do it once, we can do it again,” he declared.

Furthermore, the Manchester City coach regretted the losses in defense, especially that of Kyle Walker. “Things are like this. Real Madrid also has injury problems… the best player to control Vinícius is Kyle Walker, but he was injured in a friendly match. We would love to have him with us, but what are we going to do to him. Injuries are part of such a long season. We are having a lot of injuries and tonight we will think about what we are going to do,” he said.

And he highlighted the Jude Bellingham performance, whom he already faced in 2022 when he played for Borussia Dortmund. “He played when he was 17 and it was not only his skills that stood out, what makes the difference is what he has in his head. He has arrived at this club with exceptional players and a coach like Ancelotti who found the best position for him. “He adapted quickly and is having an incredible season. At Real Madrid and in England. He has always been brilliant and at only 20 years old he has an incredible sporting career ahead of him,” he highlighted.

2024-04-08 18:21:59
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