Men's Team

Resilience key as Guardiola prepares to suffer for Champions League glory

Pep Guardiola says Manchester City need to deal with the pressure of the Champions League final as he declared his side must be prepared to suffer if we’re to beat Chelsea.

The City boss believes it is an honour to be involved in the biggest game in club football, but admits it is inevitable that some of his players will be nervous ahead of such an occasion.


Facing a Chelsea side who have got the better of us in our previous two meetings, Guardiola expects Thomas Tuchel’s men to have periods of dominance, but says City will need to manage our emotions and show resilience if we’re to win the competition for the first time in our history.

“Some players go out there with tension, some struggle, but they have to handle this,” he said at his pre-match press conference.

“I'm pretty sure we have to suffer to win the final. It's nice to say enjoy it but sometimes it's not possible. You have to be resilient and adjust.

“I know exactly the way we want to play, with whom we are going to play and I am not going to bother them much.

“It is an incredible privilege to be here. I never expected at the start of my career to play one final of the Champions League. Now we are here. We are lucky.

“I know exactly what I am going to tell them. I don't want to bother them too much.

“The guys who are anxious or nervous I am going to tell them it is normal and the guys who are more relaxed it is normal as well.

“Everyone will handle it their own way.”

In a season characterised by the collective spirit and effort of our entire squad, a fully fit 24-man party has travelled to Portugal.

It means players who have made a telling contribution to what is already a successful campaign will be left out of the starting XI in the biggest game of all and Guardiola admits doing so is his most difficult task as manager.

However, the Catalan is adamant he must put such concerns when it comes to selecting a team to win the game and says it is important that those named amongst the substitutes remember they still have a part to play.

“Terrible,” he added when asked what it is like to leave players out.

“It is an absolute disaster. I don't have any nice words to feel relief about the guys who won't play.

“My advice is stick with the team because there are five or six substitutions and everyone will play a part.

“I just feel incredibly sorry for all of them, because they deserve it, but it is what it is.

“I am going to select a team to win the game. There is no alternative.”