In a recent interview, Manchester City’s illustrious manager, Pep Guardiola, shed light on his perspective regarding the seemingly insurmountable challenge of surpassing Carlo Ancelotti’s exceptional Champions League win record. Guardiola, a two-time Champions League victor with Barcelona, candidly shared his thoughts in a conversation with TNT Sports.
Guardiola’s most recent triumph in the prestigious competition occurred just last season when he guided Manchester City to a historic treble, culminating in a momentous victory over Inter Milan in Istanbul. This monumental achievement not only secured City’s inaugural Champions League title but also marked Guardiola’s triumphant return to European glory. He had previously savored Champions League success as a player in 1992 and as a manager with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.
Despite his impressive tally of three Champions League titles as a manager, Guardiola remains one title behind the legendary Carlo Ancelotti, who boasts a remarkable four victories. Ancelotti’s storied journey includes two triumphs with AC Milan and two with Real Madrid, with his most recent conquest occurring in 2022. Ancelotti’s unique feat is further accentuated by his additional two Champions League winner’s medals from his playing career, giving him a grand total of six, in contrast to Guardiola’s four.
Guardiola acknowledged the formidable nature of Ancelotti’s record, stating, “I cannot beat him because I won one as a footballer player, but he, as a football player, won three or four more.” He further added, “You can never beat Ancelotti when it comes to Champions League trophies. I am younger than him, so I have more time, but honestly, it is not a target.”
Guardiola’s deep respect for Ancelotti extends beyond the realm of managerial success, encompassing the Italian’s significant contributions to the Champions League, both as a player and a manager. Ancelotti’s enduring legacy in the competition solidifies his status as one of its most iconic figures.
As the new Champions League campaign commences, Manchester City embarks on their journey to defend their title against Red Star Belgrade, while Real Madrid welcomes Union Berlin. Guardiola remains vigilant about the presence of Real Madrid in the competition, recognizing the club’s indomitable spirit and rich history in the Champions League.
Reflecting on the difficulty of securing Champions League glory, Guardiola emphasized, “Because [Real] Madrid is always there.” He fondly recalled his intense clashes with Real Madrid during his tenure as Barcelona’s manager in La Liga, underscoring the club’s enduring impact on the tournament.
Pep Guardiola’s acknowledgment of Carlo Ancelotti’s extraordinary Champions League win record underscores the mutual respect and admiration among football’s elite managers. Guardiola’s pursuit of further success in the competition remains an ongoing challenge, with Real Madrid serving as a perennial reminder of the Champions League’s unpredictability and enduring allure.
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