Pep Guardiola insists that lifting the Champions League will not be Manchester City’s sole focus this season.
The Premier League champions learned their opponents for this season’s group stage on Thursday, seemingly being handed a favourable draw.
They will meet Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk for the third season a row at this stage, while Dinamo Zagreb and first-time qualifiers Atalanta make up the rest of Group C, as City look to improve on last season’s quarter-final exit.
Having enjoyed dominance domestically in recent seasons, including achieving English football’s first-ever domestic treble last term, some have suggested Man City may prioritise Europe as they bid to win an elusive first Champions League title.
City’s owners brought in the former Barcelona boss to try and win Europe’s biggest prize, and the Citizens currently the bookmaker’s favourites to win the trophy. Guardiola admits the tournament is of course ‘important’, though the Spaniard admits the Champions League is not City’s sole focus and will be the ‘same guy’ should the club fall short again.
“It’s important, I know it’s important. But I will be the same guy, waking up in the morning, working a lot, going to sleep early, eating well, looking after myself as well as possible, loving the people I live,” Guardiola said at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s not going to change my life. I’ll do my best but I’m happy, we’re happy with what we’ve done so far and the way we want to play – we did it, now it’s just to maintain that level.
“Sometimes you are good enough. We are going to fight until the end, but if we’re not good enough, we’ll try the next season.”
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