Manchester City‘s 5-0 thrashing of Liverpool was, as Pep Guardiola put it, “one of the best moments” of the Catalan manager’s career. But the tactician knows that such results will be hard to come by on the continental stage.
Speaking before City’s game at Feyenoord Rotterdam, Guardiola calmed those who say the Citizens can be successful in the Champions League, admitting that the club is “still in the process of growing” and therefore “not dreaming.”
City will play Feyenoord in the Champions League’s Group F on Wednesday. The match marks the Citizens’ first in European competition since they spent a reported £220.5 million to buy Benjamin Mendy, Kyle Walker, Bernardo Silva, Ederson, Danilo, Douglas Luiz, and Larry Kayode.
“I don’t know if we are able to compete,” Guardiola said, according to the Guardian’s Jamie Jackson. “I’m so happy with the players we have. We can do better than last season – but I don’t know. We’ll see. Last season we did good things, it wasn’t enough (City lost to Monaco in the round of 16 on away goals). But of course I am satisfied.
“I don’t know if we’re able to compete for the titles because we’re still in the process of growing. We are not dreaming – when you’re in that position (of having a chance) it’s better to be calm. When you arrive in the last stages you say the dream is close but now it’s far away.”
Guardiola also preached caution ahead of the game, declaring: “Why is this an easy start? Feyenoord have more titles (they won the European Cup in 1970) than Manchester City. History counts. We cannot deny English teams have more money, spend more money. I grew up loving the Holland culture, how they play. I was a lucky guy. I was a football palyer working with my idol Johan Cruyff (at Barcelona) and after that Louis van Gaal, a lot of Holland players in my team. I know how they play.”
Ederson is in contention to play at Feyenoord after suffering a terrifying head injury in City’s victory over Liverpool, while Vincent Kompany is still sidelined due to a calf ailment.