Every word Guardiola said before Man City v Real Madrid

Press conference with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola ahead of their Champions League quarter-final second-leg tie against Real Madrid.

Hi Pep, given your background as a player and a manager, how big is a game against Real Madrid?

Always has been and always will be when you play with Real Madrid in this competition. Always a big game. Is it the game inside that motivates you the most? No, it’s special for me, of course, it is many times as a football player and manager, but that doesn’t count. What counts is what you have to do to win tomorrow. We have to do something we have not done really well in Bernabeu.

The result was really good, and counting where you play against whom you play, it’s more than fine. But you had to perform a little bit better. We have the last training; we’ll talk about that and go for it. Last year, the questions would have been about whether your team had the mentality to win the Champions League. Could they do it? Could they get over the line? Obviously, you’ve answered those questions.

So, before a big game like this, do you feel like the pressure’s off? Do you sense for the players, the pressure is off a little bit?

I hope not. You need that pressure, feel that pressure, and that you don’t want to lose the game. If you think, “Okay, we have done it already,” we will not have this piece of hunger, you know, to compete against the teams. So, it’s true that the fact that we won it, we have felt better all season, comfortable, but you have to take the right energy.

I think our people at home will help us a lot. So, we sold out everything and we need a lot of noise, we need a lot of presence of them, especially about moments because what I said before the game in Madrid, so again that you are 90 minutes all the time, you are better. So, there are moments that you have to suffer. Then the results can be good and cannot be good, and we need them.

They will be, I’m pretty sure of that because they know we will be. So, in this time of games, I’m not talking about winning or losing. I’m talking about being present, being who we are, always we have been in the last years, and having the feeling that we are prepared, we are prepared to perform well at maximum, our best. Otherwise, you cannot reach the semi-finals against teams like Madrid.

Hi, Pep. Historically, this is the most difficult week of the season, really, with the schedule of the Wednesday night and then the Saturday game. We’ve spoken about how tough it is for the players, but how demanding is it of you as well? How do you find the time to prepare for a massive game on Wednesday and a massive game?

I’m used to it, so long. It’s better to be here than here. It’s better to be Wednesday or Saturday than not be here. So, I will not complain one second about that. So, it’s what it is. So, say we have more days to prepare, yeah, but it is what it is. So, 24 hours a day is a lot, so you can find a way. You have a lot of people help you. Very important is not to make the right decisions, and that is what it is.

What do you think more than the fact of work because, in the end, we played like this against Madrid last week? We know each other; they know us. We know them. We have to be aware. It makes some surprises like Carlo has done in the first game. And yeah, and the right mentality and ready to suffer and ready to never end until we end in a good way, in a bad way. And always, we have always had momentums in the state, we have these all momentums and hopefully extend them as long as possible. And in that way, always we can do it.

Hi, Pep. Can I ask you, if Kyle Walker was back in the squad at the weekend or they didn’t play? Bernardo has just sat there and said, as the captain, he’s so important to what you do, and he’s pointed to those games where he’s come up against opponents like Vinicius, like Mbappe, and how well he defends against them. What position is he in in terms of his availability? Could he start, or is he going to see what said the last one or two trains?

He trains well; he feels something, but he feels good. His face, his mood, and I don’t know from the beginning, I don’t know on the bench, I don’t know, but I think he will be with us tomorrow. And it’s like Bernardo said, it’s an incredibly important player for us, the spirit in the locker room, on the pitch, in the bad moments. He’s always there. He’s always there. And yeah, it’s so good, especially when the people feel, the players feel the confidence with him, especially. And I agree. I agree a lot. Hopefully, he can travel, he can play, and he can play well as always he does.

How do you feel? Yeah, feel good, feel good.

That is good news after we decide. Hi Pat. Jude Bellingham’s been Real Madrid’s best player this season. He’s probably England’s best player wanted by all of England’s top clubs. What does it say about him as a person to have the confidence to go to somewhere like Madrid, and be their best player, and not maybe somewhere I think shows Bingham shows just arriving, so playing at a top-class club like Madrid, Barcelona, one is not easy to settle quick, and he settled quicker.

So, from the beginning, the impact was huge in terms of goals, in terms of presence, and many things, is, you know, what age. So, I think he feels and handles the pressure without the problem, has a good, you know, mentality, and yeah, he’s an exceptional player. So, with K, have to control him, take a look where really, really he does.

Would you like to see him in England?

Sorry, would you like to see him in England?

I don’t know, it’s a question for him. I think he can’t for when plays the national team in Wembley. So, it’s a question for him. I don’t know.

Hi, Bernardo said earlier that he feels this Real Madrid side this season is stronger than the one you guys faced last season. Do you agree with that, and if so, what do you think about Real Madrid this season? Is better, what worries you about them this season?

Okay, maybe I’m not I wouldn’t say I disagree with Bernardo, but I’m not completely agreeing either. So, last season M had a really, really, really good different one, but Benzema is he moved all the positions and Luka Modric was playing more minutes, but look at the Modric, just the few minutes he played were amazing. So, I think it’s an exceptional team last season, the previous one, this one.

Madrid always has a good team, this is my feeling. I know when I say good things about Madrid, the people don’t believe me in Madrid. When I say some okay jokes or whatever, people always believe I am taking the pie, it’s not about that. So, when I was a football player when I was a manager, I always had a good opinion about the quality, the history has been that the people have to think about my comments is really, honestly, it’s not my business and David which.

Hi Pep, um, Bernardo was just talking about how the players are motivated to become the first English team, uh, to do the treble twice, and win the Premier League for four times in a row, back-to-back Champions Leagues, to what extent can you use that as motivation for the players? We saw in the Netflix documentary that you use the chance to create history as a motivational tool, is that something you can draw on again the chance to create fresh?

I would like, and I’m not going to say don’t feel this to my players when they feel it, I have a different opinion. We are far away from those hypothetical dreams, so we are in the final AIA Cup, when we are one or two games left with I don’t know, three, three, four, five points advantage, we are already in the final Champion.

I would start to think about that, but before the game against Madrid, we are, you know, you see yesterday CH how strong they are, and Saturday and after what is two points difference, when they did to play when I was two points down, Arsenal, Liverpool, I was thinking we have to do our job, it’s not over, now we have to, in front, it’s not over, it’s the same feeling I have the previous weeks when we drew against Arsen, the people say no chance of the computer, the computer I don’t know, the computer play right back or left back, I don’t know how to discover that when the computer says you don’t have a chance and now you have a chance, so nothing changes for me.

So, it’s six games, have a lot of difficult games, home and away, with opponents we have, they have both of them, and it’s just one game, a time, game of time means Madrid tomorrow. What do you have to do to beat them in a step-by-step honestly I started to think in the treble when we beat United in the God final last season and I said okay. Well now want to get my way to do something exceptional but the success for me this season is we are still, we are there, so after winning the treble still being in that position with four weeks, five weeks, six weeks, depending on the finals.

If C of the Champions League, being in contention to be there is heads off, is incredible but at the same time we are here, to extend this chance one more week, one more week, so this is what we try to do tomorrow and Saturday and next games.

When you played Real Madrid in the Champions League with Barça, particularly in 2011, I mean, there was so much noise off the pitch in those games, it was intense, toxic, extreme, is it a relief almost now that it’s just about the football, and in a way, does the feel left pressure unnoticed games in you fac back in 2011?

Yeah, but is what it is, so I wouldn’t tell is what it is, you could not control that time what happened, I cannot control what happened here, I can control here in front of you, my job, and the rest not do it, of course, Barcelona, Madrid, Madrid. Barcelona is so special for many, many reasons, for history, and when you play the semi-final Champions League or this, it’s normal.

But it looks like a long time ago we left it there an experience that now it’s different. Yeah, of course, it’s different, but at the same time it’s a football game, they want to beat us, we want to beat them, and I know I had the feeling that we will perform well. We are excited, happy, nervous a little bit, have a mix of feelings before tomorrow that is nice to have it, I said before, your colle so it’s better to be here than don’t be, you know, so why is a lot of games forget about it in October, November.

I complain a lot of games, still is far away, but we are one month away being in those competitions again after winning two titles this season, three last season at home, that we believe we can do whatever we can, with an incredible energy, with our people, we feel safe, we feel protected, we feel supported, we feel we know we can handle the momentums and we can do a lot of things in few times, and yeah, from the beginning, we’re going for it, we’re going, we have a game plan, I believe in that, yeah, we go win or lose, we lose against Madrid, shake hands, congratulations, for sure, we’ll deserve it.

We try, we want to play, for the fact that we reach the semi-final, we deserve it. I want to play because we deserve to be semi-final, this is what I want, and for that, we know exactly what you have to do, we know it.

Hi Pep, Bernardo said that we cannot compare this game tomorrow night’s game with last year’s game, so I would like to know, which way tomorrow night’s game will be really different, and is this week the most difficult week for your team of the season?

Listen, if yesterday you were playing against Madrid, the game last season we played today will be different, so not every game is completely the same as the last season, so of course, it will not be like last season, we know it, they learn, we learn, it’s impossible to know each other better, so we know it, but in the same time, we will try to do what you have to do, and it’s the most difficult week, it’s what it is.

I said before, I prefer to play, oh, difficult, yeah, it is, but the guys or the teams cannot play, that it’s not difficult, but they cannot play it, and it’s nice to be here again, you know, you had the chance to be for four years in a row semi-final Champions League, this is something exceptional for a club like Manchester City, exceptional, so we have the chance to be, wow, four years in a row semi-final with two finals, and this is the dream, this is the target, this is what you have to try to do for a few months ago.

Francisco said that when he watched City, reminded him a lot of a handball team, and I wanted to know what aspects of other sports have you been able to incorporate into football.

A few, but I like a lot of sports, but I’ve not had time to watch that many sports, to be honest, after 11 years of having games every three days, it’s different when I speak to Bar, Rivera, we, I asked them things about different sports and what things we can take from them, that’s for sure.

Hi Pep, you spoke about that in the first game, and they surprised you, you said you were going to analyze them, to think about what Carlo Angelotti did, I don’t know if you’ve analyzed them already and you’ve thought about anything about the second game.

We have to be prepared, but we don’t, we won’t know until the fifth, tenth, or fifteenth minute the qualities of who’s playing and looking at the way they were playing the game, there are some things we need to do better, we need to be better in certain aspects that we weren’t good in the first game, but that’s not for the merit of what we did, but we have to give them credit also. Real Madrid aren’t any opponents, so what they did we have to adjust to it and see what we can do to impose our way of playing as much as possible. It’s impossible to do that for 90 minutes and they are not able to do it for 90 minutes either.

You’ve won everything over your career, there have been all types of situations in games, but every time you play Real Madrid, we see you a little bit worried, it’s almost like you have another eye on what they’re doing. Could you say that Real Madrid is the opponent you fear the moment the most?

No, I don’t fear them, I respect them a lot. I’ve faced them many times, you know. I’m not going to talk about great things about them, you know, they’re a great side. I give you my opinion, I respect Real Madrid. If you ask me a question, I’ll give you my opinion, and if I say that I am scared of them, I would be being false. I spoke about the condition of the pitch, and I said it with all the best wishes in the world, it’s their decision to change that.

If they don’t do that, you can believe what you want. When I speak, I’ve played against them many times as a player, and I’ve always had great respect for Real Madrid, and I have to have respect. There’s obviously a rivalry, you want to beat them, you want to do well, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I want to do as well as I can be ourselves, if it can’t be, it doesn’t matter, but I’m not scared of them, have great respect for them, and if they beat me, as has happened many times, we’ll say congratulations and wish them well in the future.

Hi Pep, in the first game, you spoke after the game about the great image that Carlo Ancelotti has as a manager the teams he puts out, and the way he sets up the team. Do you also expect something different for this second game?

All these games that you’ve played in the last few years, if we analyze them, it feels like we can kind of forget about these press conferences because it’s almost like a Netflix series with all these games that you’ve had. What feeling do you have? Do you think it would be a magical game like in previous years?

I believe you, yeah, we can forget about the press conferences, that would be great, we can do that right now. But I think it will be… it’s like you’re facing Real Madrid. They want to attack you, create chances, not whenever they want to. They’re very, very dangerous. They’ve always been that team that can cause you problems, and they know that we’re going to give everything in the game. We’re going to try to win it. It’s good, I think it’s good. I think the games have been good in the previous years. I think tomorrow will also be a good game.

What was the first part of your question? Perhaps they will do something different, perhaps if you say that perhaps we’ll have to wait and see what happens. It’s a knockout game, they will have seen the way that we played, and they will adjust certain things. So we’ll see what happens. I’m sure they’ll be different, we have to be prepared if they make changes and we have to make adjustments as soon as possible in the game.

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