‘Exceptional’… Guardiola full of praise for last year’s Real Madrid team

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Manchester City's Spanish manager Pep Guardiola attends a press conference at Manchester City's training ground in north-west England on April 16, 2024, on the eve of their UEFA Champions League Group quarter-final second-leg football match against Real Madrid.

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Real Madrid are going to play arguably two of their most important matches of the season in the span of the coming week. Firstly, the Merengues will face Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg and then face Barcelona in La Liga.

The former of these matches will definitely be the most decisive for Real Madrid, as winning the Champions League is always an objective for the Merengues. Furthermore, Real Madrid have an eight-goal lead over Barcelona in the league, so they have some margin for error in that match, but with the aggregate score tied at 3-3, Ancelotti’s men cannot make any mistake against City.

The match against City is scheduled for Wednesday, and the English side’s coach, Pep Guardiola, has already addressed the press ahead of this match. Mundo Deportivo has provided some interesting highlights from this press conference.

The former Barcelona coach admitted that the match will be an even-matched affair, and his team will have to step up to advance to the next round of the competition:

“We have to do better than at the Bernabéu. If you lose against Madrid, you shake hands and congratulate them. I want to play in a way that we deserve to be in the semifinals. Neither us nor them will dominate for 90 minutes.”

The rivalry between Real Madrid and Barcelona has always been a feisty one, but it reached unprecedented heights when Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola were in charge of the two sides. However, the Spaniard clarified that he had a lot of respect for the Merengues:

It’s a rivalry, sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose. The sense of danger with Madrid is always there. They know we will go for the game. If the matches have been good in recent years, let tomorrow’s be good too.”

Prior to Guardiola’s presser, the Manchester City star Bernardo Silva had addressed the press, where he claimed that the current Real Madrid team was better than that of last year. However, Guardiola did not agree too much with his midfielder:

“I don’t entirely agree with Bernardo. Last season, Madrid was very good, with Benzema, and Modric playing a lot more minutes… Last season, Madrid was exceptional, as always before. People think I’m joking, but I’ve always had a good opinion of Real Madrid.”

There is no doubt that the former Barcelona manager is one of the best in the world, and it is a testament to his professionalism and sportsmanship the way he has spoken about Real Madrid.

However, the Merengue fans do not have the fondest of memories of Guardiola and his Barcelona, and will be doubly motivated to see their team get the better of him tomorrow night.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari, a dedicated sports journalist and Real Madrid fan, has written over 2000 articles for Barca News Network and Madrid Voice. With a degree in Political Science and English Literature from Forman Christian College, he provides expert analyses and comprehensive La Liga coverage.

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