Can Pep Guardiola Win Manchester City the Champions League?

Despite being the most successful English team of the last decade, Manchester City seem unable to achieve European success. Between 2010 and 2019, the Citizens lifted more domestic silverware than any other club, claiming a total of 16 trophies, as per Manchester City’s official website.  

However, under the likes of Manuel Pellegrini, Pep Guardiola, and Roberto Mancini, a Champions League trophy has yet to be added to the collection. So, is the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager the man to bring European success to the Etihad? 

Are Suggestions that Pep Struggles in Europe a Misconception? 

From an individual standpoint, winning the Champions League isn’t an achievement that is unfamiliar to Guardiola. However, much like City, the Spaniard doesn’t have a European record that matches his calibre.  

Following the Citizens’ 3-1 defeat to Lyon in the revamped one-legged format of the Champions League, it’s now been nine years since a team managed by Guardiola reached the final of the competition. In that time, the 49-year-old has coached at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. Perhaps the most damning statistic revolves around City’s knockout-stage inabilities during Guardiola’s reign.  

Since taking over back in 2016, City have failed to surpass the quarter-finals in each of the previous four Champions League campaigns, as per Transfermarkt. In that period, the six-time English league champions have lost to Monaco in the last 16, as well as to Liverpool, Lyon, and Tottenham in the quarters.  

As touched upon, it’s problematic to conclude whether this is a City or Guardiola-related issue. In four seasons, the 49-year-old has twice won the Premier League in Manchester, showcasing that both he and the club still know how to win major honours. That said, for a manager of his pedigree to reach one European final in the last decade points to a systematic problem on the European stage. 

Striving to Establish Themselves as a European Powerhouse 

Going forward, the Champions League will likely be the main focus for both City and Guardiola. Of course, the Citizens aren’t going to disregard the Premier League, but their European pedigree is currently in question. Aside from a single UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup back in 1969-70, English football’s most successful team of the last decade have yet to leave their mark on non-domestic competitions. 

Pep Guardiola in 2017” by (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Although the club has had their issues within UEFA since their takeover in 2008, City supporters will undoubtedly want to clinch the Champions League at some point in the near future. Despite a blasé attitude to the competition, the tournament is brutally exposing their trophy-winning manager’s flaws, according to Forbes.  

Fundamentally, winning the Champions League will undoubtedly boost City’s global audience base and reputation. Across numerous markets, the competition has become a staple of contemporary pop culture. As well as being integrated into Electronic Arts’ FIFA series, European football themes have also been targeted among iGaming developers. At Casino Hacks, a review platform outlining the best casino offers and sign-up bonuses, listed operators like Casimba offer prospective bettors Football: Champions Cup, a five-reel NetEnt cup-formatted football slot, which obviously takes inspiration from the prestigious competition.  

It Doesn’t Make for Good Reading 

While the unpredictability of football is what makes the sport so globally admired, the statistics don’t offer Manchester City fans much encouragement. Even though it’s impossible to understate the credentials of Guardiola, he’s undoubtedly struggling to get out of his nine-year slump in the Champions League. That said, there are few better than the Spaniard to change City’s European fortunes.

Can Pep Guardiola Win Manchester City the Champions League?

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