Pep Guardiola has won nine major trophies at Manchester City, but the Spaniard says his tenure at the Premier League club will be defined by his first Champions League title.
Guardiola won four Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups at City, but European success has eluded the two-time trophy-winning manager as Barcelona coach, with the English club runners-up in 2021.
Asked if winning the trophy with City would define his success in the eyes of the public, Guardiola said: “Yes. That doesn’t mean I agree with it, but of course we’ll be judged for that race.
“My first Champions League game (in 2016) they said, ‘Are you here to win the Champions League?’ he asked. If I were the coach of Real Madrid, I would understand, but I accept it. No matter how much we go through, it won’t change that.”
City host RB Leipzig in the second leg of their Round of 16 tie on Tuesday after the first leg ended in a 1-1 draw.
Guardiola also said there is room for improvement in striker Erling Haaland’s all-round game, despite the Norwegian scoring 34 goals this season. “I don’t like one player scoring goals only in the box. It’s important, we need him,” he said.
“But he’s away from the box where he can’t score, we need him to be more active. We need to look at him and he needs to be involved in what we’re doing. He’s improved, he can do better.”
Holland has scored six goals against Leipzig in his career. Although his goalscoring figures have dipped after a successful start to the season, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne says the team is happy with his results.
“I feel like at the beginning of the season everything was going and we won a lot of games, nothing happened, but when you lose a few points it’s different,” De Bruyne said.
“I don’t think there is any problem. I haven’t heard anything from the team, from Erling or anyone else. People outside judge how we play. Maybe in some games we play better football than others. But in other games Crystal Palace is at home (where Haaland won 4-2 he scored a hat-trick when he reached), for example, he beat us.”
Haaland also scored the winner from the penalty spot at Palace on Saturday