- Pep Guardiola has admitted his Man City job could ride on Real Madrid tie
- City face Madrid in the first round of knockouts in the Champions League
- Guardiola has never taken City beyond the quarter-finals in the competition
- He said: ‘If we don’t beat them the chairman may knock on my door and sack me’
Pep Guardiola said he may be sacked if Man City fail to beat Real Madrid in Champions League
City have never gone beyond the quarter-finals in the Champions League under Guardiola
City face a mammoth task against Spanish giants Real Madrid in the first knockout rounds
Guardiola believes City can still have a sensational season without winning Champions League
Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City could sack him if they fail to beat Real Madrid in their blockbuster Champions League tie.
City are set to surrender their Premier League title to Liverpool in May with Jurgen Klopp’s men 22 points clear at the top of the table.
Guardiola’s men can still win the FA Cup, Carabao Cup and the Champions League this season but it is the latter they are desperate to get their hands on.
City have historically struggled to advance into the latter stages of the competition and face a mammoth task to do so this year with Real Madrid their opponents in the first round of the knockouts.
2016-17 season: Round of 16
(lost on away goals to Monaco)
2017-18 season: Quarter-final
(Lost 5-1 to Liverpool)
2018-19 season: Quarter-final
(Lost on away goals to Tottenham)
Guardiola, who had been touted as the man to end City’s long wait for Champions League gory when he joined in 2016, has never guided them beyond the quarter-finals and believes failing to do so again this year could cost him his job.
Talking to Football Daily, the City boss said: ‘That’s why it is so difficult to win it. And in 100 and more seasons of history for Manchester City, it was 100 seasons of failure – that is not true.
‘There are many incredible players that made our fans happy, and (times when) our fans enjoyed part of the season. I know the people say “You are good” or “You’re not good enough”.
‘I accept it. I want to win the Champions League, I dream and will enjoy the games against Real Madrid, to see what I can do.
‘And this process, the two weeks before, will be the happiest moments of my profession, to imagine what we can do to beat them.
‘If we don’t beat them, then the chairman will come, or the sporting director, and say “It’s not good enough, we want the Champions League, I’m going to sack you”.
‘Then “OK, thank you, it was a pleasure”.’
Although Guardiola appeared to be speaking with tongue in cheek, he did reiterate that it is a possibility his job could be under threat if they crash out of the Champions League early on again.
He added: ‘I don’t know, many times it has happened. Or maybe he will say “OK you’ve done well, but what can we improve?”
‘Since I arrived, that is what I have got from this club – what can we do, then do it better and do it better. That is the process.
‘Liverpool have spent four or five years to win the first title last season. It was a process – new players, the process, then invest more and more, and they are the best team in the world right now.
‘Always people believe that you are Pep, or you are Jurgen, or another name, so you have to win all the titles, get two thousand million points, two thousand million goals.
‘Sometimes it’s not possible. Sometimes there are opponents, sometimes you cannot do it because in no sport does one team win all the titles all the time. It’s impossible.
‘We give a bad, bad message for the new generation, to our kids, to just count the winner, the trophies.
‘You said the season would be a disaster, but if we win the Champions League it would be sensational. Why?’
City travel to Madrid in the first leg of their knockout round tie at the end of this month before welcoming them to the Etihad for the decisive match on March 17.