UCL Draw: Pep Guardiola hails facing Real Madrid in the Champions League as “a tradition”

UCL Draw: Pep Guardiola hails facing Real Madrid in the Champions League as “a tradition”

For the third season in a row, Manchester City will face Real Madrid in the Champions League’s knockout. According to the latest draw, The Citizens are scheduled to face Los Blancos in a two-legged quarter final. 

Back in the 2021/22 season, City lost 6-5 on aggregate to Madrid in the semifinal. Last season, both teams met in another semifinal showdown. This time, City had their revenge on the Spanish capital side with 5-1 on aggregate.

Pep Guardiola proceeded to the final to beat Internazionale which led to City’s first ever Champions League title. This season’s quarter final will contest another match-up between the two giants of their own leagues. 

Also Read: UCL Draw Fixtures Unveiled: Real Madrid, Man City, Arsenal, Bayern Lock Horn

UCL Draw: Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City face Real Madrid again

City manager Pep Guardiola said he was getting used to playing Madrid in the Champions League knockout. The former Barcelona midfielder pointed out that the draw was unavoidable, adding that it was the only way to defend the title this season. 

“We don’t have another option,” he told the media via OneFootball. “It looks like a little bit of a tradition, three years in a row playing the kings of the competition. 

“Hopefully we arrive in a good moment. The draw you cannot control, if people say it’s easy because you undermine the opponents. Second leg at home, it is what it is.”

City secured the last 8 rounds after defeating Copenhagen in both legs with a 3-1 victory. Guardiola will face Carlo Ancelotti for the 11th time. He leads the record over his fellow former Bayern Munich manager with six games to three, one game ended in a draw.

UCL Draw: Manchester City have point to prove

City’s director of football Txiki Begiristain is thrilled with the draw. The former Barcelona midfielder reminds of what happened last season in the semifinal, stating that his side have the right to be confident. 

“Now it’s Real Madrid but we have to remember we beat them last season in the semi-finals so we will try to remember that,” he said via the club’s official statement. “We need to remember that we beat them last season in the semi-final and we played at home in the second leg.

“We did a top, top job in the second leg but we need to remember how strong they are and that they are top of their league and that they enjoy this competition.”

As a former Barcelona player, it is not a secret that Begiristain despises Madrid. This season is another moment to prove that Los Blancos are not better than City despite winning the tournament more than anyone in the continent. 

“It’s the history of Real Madrid. Every time they face up in this competition, they think they are going to win. The only thing is that we are confident. We are doing well, we have been in the last years fighting for this competition and at the end we won it.”