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Guardiola desperate to win Champions League, insists Messi is football GOAT

PEP Guardiola has admitted that he must lead Manchester City to the UEFA Champions League title to cement his and the club’s legacy.

The Spaniard became Manchester City’s manager in the summer of 2016 and has won four Premier League titles with them as well as the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, but the biggest prize in European club football has been beyond his reach at the club.

City came closest to winning the Champions League under Guardiola in 2021, but they were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in the final.

They also lost to Real Madrid in last season’s semi-final after winning the first leg, and have been eliminated at the quarter-final stage three times.

“It’s not the only one but I admit it’s the trophy we want and my period here will not be complete if we don’t win it,” Guardiola, who led Barcelona to Champions League glory in 2009 and 2011, said today while previewing City’s Carabao Cup fourth round Carabao Cup clash billed for tomorrow night.

“I will do everything in the time we have together but I’d say the same before. It’s the trophy we don’t have and we’ll try to do it. I have the feeling they’ll get it sooner or later.”

Guardiola’s former player at Barcelona, Lionel Messi, on Sunday captained Argentina to the World Cup title, and the Spaniard believes the forward has no peer in the sport.

“Everyone has an opinion but nobody can doubt Lionel Messi is there as the greatest of all time (GOAT). For me he’s the best, difficult to understand a player can compete what he’s done,” he asserted.

“The opinions are sentimental, but the other side, if he wouldn’t have won the World Cup, the opinion and my opinion wouldn’t change. It’s normal that people depend if you win or you are evaluated. He has the final cherries of an incredible career.”

Guardiola then congratulated Messi and his current player at Manchester City Julian Alvarez as well as former Citizen Nicolas Otamendi for the World Cup success.

He said: “We are incredibly happy for Julián, congratulations to him and Otamendi, personally to Messi. To Argentina, well deserved. We’re delighted for Julian, he played a lot, his contribution was amazing. We have a world champion in our team.”

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