Pep Guardiola has said he is not under pressure to win the Champions League at Manchester City, but he would be if he was managing Manchester United or Liverpool.
Since arriving at the club in 2016, Guardiola has struggled with City, bowing out to underdogs Monaco, Lyon and Tottenham in recent years. For much of the 2020/21 season it seemed like they would finally break their hoodoo, only to lose 1-0 to Chelsea in the final.
Speaking before that game, Guardiola denied he feels under pressure to lead City to their maiden European crown.
“I didn’t come here because the club said ‘you have to win the Champions League’,” he told Rio Ferdinand in an interview for BT Sport (via Liverpool Echo).
“If I went to United, Liverpool, Barcelona, Real Madrid, you’d always hear ‘you have to win the Champions League’. I do not feel that pressure here. The only pressure I feel here? To play your team like the way why you took over. You took over to play a certain way, you have to do everything this way.”
It is not just at City that Guardiola has struggled in Europe. During his three seasons at Bayern Munich he also failed to secure a Champions League trophy. The defeat to Chelsea was Guardiola’s first final since 2011, where he guided Barcelona to an emphatic 3-1 victory over United. This was his second Champions League win with Barça, also besting the Red Devils in 2009.
Although his record in Europe has been patchy, Guardiola is still City’s most successful manager ever. He has won ten trophies so far, including three Premier League titles and four League Cups. The Citizens look well placed to retain domestic supremacy during the 2021/22 season as well.