ANI Photo | “Bit like a tradition”: Manchester City manager Guardiola on facing Real Madrid in UCL

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola feels that playing against Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League is a “bit like tradition” after the defending champions drew the 14-time champions in the knockout stage for the third consecutive season.
On Friday, the UCL quarter-final draw concluded in Nyon, Switzerland and produced some mouth-watering fixtures.
This will be the third consecutive season when Real Madrid and Manchester City will compete in the UCL knockout stage.
Guardiola gave his take on facing Los Blancos once again and said as quoted from the club’s official website, “It’s a bit like a tradition, three years in a row playing the king of the competition who have won 14 Champions Leagues.”
“It is what it is, hopefully we can have a good moment. [There are] still a few weeks before the first game in Madrid. We’ll see. The draw you cannot control. Normally when the people say the draw is easy, you undermine the other opponents. It’s not necessary to say what Real Madrid is in this competition, the second leg is at home but two seasons ago it was away, so it is what it is. We have to do two good games there and here to go through,” he added.
Last year Manchester City overcame Real Madrid in the semi-finals with a dominating performance in both legs to seal their place in the final. They went on to clinch their maiden UCL trophy with a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan.
In 2022, Manchester City looked destined to reach their maiden UCL final but Real Madrid turned the tides in the final moments of the game to seal their spot in the final against Liverpool.
Pep expressed his excitement about playing in the Champions League and said, “We are excited because it’s a privilege every time we’re here, in the last 16 or quarter-final always it is. It is a special competition. I’ve said many times, I don’t know which one is the most difficult of the lot because the Premier League, La Liga or Bundesliga, Serie A… always it’s difficult with a lot of games. But this one [the Champions League] is special, going to Europe and with the team, with the club and the organisation, we go everywhere to try to play our best football.”
But before Manchester City embark on the UCL challenge, they will face Newcastle United in the FA Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

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