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Guardiola makes high claim about Real Madrid’s Champions League credentials



Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Pep Guardiola addressed the media ahead of Manchester City’s second-leg Champions League tie against RB Leipzig.

After a 1-1 draw in the first leg, a defeat for Man City this midweek could seal their exit from the competition, which in turn, could lead to further scrutiny on coach Guardiola. The former Catalan coach is yet to win the Champions League since leaving Barcelona.

When asked whether winning the UCL will define his success at Manchester City, Guardiola made an odd reference to Real Madrid, suggesting that he did not anticipate Man City fans to expect him to guide the team to a Champions League crown.

“In my first game here [Man City] I was asked ‘are you here to win the UCL?’ then I said ‘What?’ If I was the manager of Real Madrid, which is not gonna happen, I would’ve understood. But here? I don’t know,” Guardiola said (h/t Manchester Evening News).

The Catalans’ reference to Real Madrid is hardly surprising as Real Madrid have indeed dominated the competition in recent years. Over the past nine completed seasons in Europe, Real Madrid have won the coveted competition five times – taking their overall tally to 14.

Even the under-fire Carlo Ancelotti is likely to be judged on the basis of Real Madrid’s performance in the Champions League this season, even though the club have heavily underperformed in La Liga this term.

Guardiola, though, said winning the Champions League is the motivation for most teams and Man City are no different this year. That s why we’re here. I didn’t know any team or manager that didn’t try to win a competition. Everyone wants to win it. Not an exception,” he said.

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Real Madrid News

Real Madrid trio in danger of missing Villarreal game due to suspension



Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

As Real Madrid look to restart the campaign following the end of the international break, all focus will be on the upcoming El Clasico in Copa del Rey on April 5.

However, before they take on their arch-rivals for a fourth time this year, Real Madrid must see off the challenge from Real Valladolid in La Liga on Sunday.

Given Barcelona’s 12-point advantage at the top of the table, La Liga appears to be a lost cause for Real Madrid right now. But that is no excuse for Carlo Ancelotti’s men to appear complacent, as they look to push for a late title charge.

However, heading into this contest, three Real Madrid players proceed with caution as they are running the risk of missing out on the next league game against Villarreal due to yellow cards.

The three players in question are Eduardo Camavinga, Dani Carvajal, and Dani Ceballos. All three of these players have picked up four yellow cards in La Liga this term. Therefore, picking up another booking against Valladolid will rule them out in the next game.

Camavinga, in particular, has been a vital part of the Real Madrid squad since the turn of the year, impressing onlookers with his performances and versatility.

Carvajal, too, is a critical option at right-back and his experience could go a long way in helping Real Madrid end the league campaign on a positive note. Not to mention, the club lack the services of a reliable alternative, which has led to links with Reece James this coming summer.

Ceballos, on the other hand, has been one of the emerging stars this year. The midfielder’s performances have been excellent lately, and he would not want to lose any momentum by picking up a suspension ahead of the important Villarreal game next week.

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