Speaking in an interview with Rio Ferdinand for BT Sport, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has made a major claim about Real Madrid’s success in the UEFA Champions League.
The Manchester City boss has been in charge at the Etihad Stadium since 2016 but has failed to win the continental trophy in each of his six seasons at the club.
During that time, Real Madrid have won the Champions League on three occasions – in 2016/17 and 2017/18 under Zinedine Zidane and in the last season with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm.
Manchester City were on the receiving end of one of the most memorable comebacks made by Real Madrid in the history of the competition last season in the semi-finals.
Having won the first leg at the Etihad 4-3, the Premier League champions looked to be cruising to the finals when Riyad Mahrez put them ahead in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu.
But a stoppage-time double from Rodrygo Goes forced the tie into extra-time and Karim Benzema scored to win it for Real Madrid, who then went on to beat Liverpool in the finals to win the trophy.
During the interview, Guardiola was asked about Manchester City’s failure to win the Champions League, to which he responded:
“What if we don’t win the Champions League? Then we don’t. Only Real Madrid play to win it, the rest of us, we just try.”
This is not the first time Guardiola has made such a claim about Real Madrid’s unprecedented success in the Champions League.
In another interview earlier this year, the former Barcelona manager had joked that Real Madrid were the reason for Man City’s failure to win the competition, saying: “Because Real Madrid is always there”.
Real Madrid maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.