'My life is not depending on winning the Champions League. I like my life'

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola insists glory in Europe is not an obsession as they begin Premier League title defence.

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Image: PA

MANCHESTER CITY BOSS Pep Guardiola is happy at the club and is not only motivated by winning the Champions League.

Guardiola is embarking on his seventh season in charge at the Etihad – his longest stint at one club as a manager – and with four Premier League titles, an FA Cup and four League Cups, City have dominated the domestic scene.

But success in Europe has eluded them, with just a single run to the final, and the only trophy they have not won is the one that is spoken about the most.

Guardiola, who won the Champions League twice with Barcelona, says he does not have an “obsession” with it and it has no bearing on whether he will stay in the job.

“I am still sitting here because we won,” he said of his longevity at City.

“If we did not win I would not be sat here. I didn’t win, we won together. Most of the time I am here in these facilities, a lot of hours and then I go home. I like my life.

“Everything is fluid, if there were problems I would not be here seven years. I am happy here and if I don’t stay it’s not because I want to move to another place. It’s because I will stop and take a break.

“It is not about the Champions League. My life is not depending, I would like to do it, it’s not an obsession.

premier-league-fixtures-announced Guardiola with the Premier League trophy. Source: PA

“It’s a dream or a target but I am aware how good the opposition are and how difficult the competition. Maybe people don’t believe me and think I am making an excuse but I didn’t come here to win the Champions League.

“They didn’t ask me, of course they want it. I am the first to want it. It was the same with Munich.

“Every season I want to win the Champions League and I don’t feel a failure when we didn’t win it in Barcelona or Bayern Munich.

At the same time I am not the master of the universe when I win it. I will not leave in 11 months if we do not win the Champions League. We want to try to do it but it will not be the reason.”

Guardiola says that his motivation to stay at City is to improve the team and, despite the trophy haul over the years, believes the club can get even better.

“Improving the team and getting better, that is the main reason I am still here,” he said.

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“I am sad because we lost the Community Shield, but especially because we didn’t play as well as we can do.

“The only thing I am here for is to make the team play better and make individual players better. Nothing is eternal, not even this team that has done many good things in the last years.

“Everyone knows inside this club that we have won four Premier Leagues in five years is extraordinary. We can improve it.

manchester-city-premier-league-trophy-parade Guardiola at the end of last season. Source: PA

“Otherwise if I feel with the players I have I cannot make the next step, we can do better. This is the only reason I am here.

“I am not leaving here if we don’t win the Premier League, if we don’t win the other trophies. I know losing tournaments is more normal than winning.

“It is going to happen sooner rather than later. This is the way, since day one when I started with the second team in Barcelona.”

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