Pep Guardiola says he will take a break from football during the international break and hopes that everyone comes back fit.

The majority of the City squad will be heading to their countries all over the world in the final pause before the end of the season with big games to come back to upon their return. 

Following the 2-0 victory over Newcastle in the FA Cup on Saturday, City remain in the hunt for three trophies with a Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid and a tight Premier League title race.

International games give Guardiola the opportunity for a break so he can come back fresh for the final months of the season.

“I will not watch the games,” he said. “I will rest and when they arrive on the Thursday we will see which players survive and not survive.

“It’s a wish [that everyone is okay]. It’s difficult sometimes in that period in the busiest time of the season. The schedule is the schedule.”


Bernardo Silva’s double against Newcastle ensured a place in the FA Cup semi-finals for a sixth successive year – the first English club to achieve the feat.

It will also be Guardiola‘s 18th visit to Wembley for a cup game with the possibility of two more games at the national stadium if we beat Chelsea in the last-four while it will also host this year’s Champions League final.

Guardiola has no intention of looking that far ahead and says the focus will be on the huge Premier League game with Arsenal on 31 March when his squad returns.

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“One step at a time,” he said about the possibility. “We have a final against Arsenal.

“I don’t want to think right now much in the future.

“It’s been an intense period. A change of environment is always good for the mind.

“Players will play with the national team or spend time with families. Staff will be with families.

“When we come back we will have three days to prepare for the game against Arsenal. Then let’s go. I will go to Catalonia to rest a lot.”

Among those on international duty will be Erling Haaland who will link up with Norway for friendlies with Czechia and Slovakia in Oslo.

While he didn’t score against Newcastle, Guardiola was delighted with his performance in the sixth round win.

“It was the Erling I like to see,” he said. “In the moment we didn’t find him a little bit more from the players in behind.

“Jeremy [Doku] and Phil [Foden] should have used him a little bit more in the space but that is difficult to see during the game.”