Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says having his teams play well is more important than winning titles.
In his first season in charge at Manchester, Guardiola will preside over the Etihad club’s first trophy-less campaign since 2014-15.
The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss had won 21 titles in his brief but brilliant managerial career before joining City, including two Champions League crowns, but said on Monday that trophies aren’t the ultimate goal.
“The team has played the way I wanted. We didn’t play good enough, there were teams that did better,” Guardiola said in an exclusive interview with ESPN Brasil.
“In Europe, we still don’t have the level to compete. City had gone 35 years without playing in Europe [Champions League]. The club crossed the round of 16 just once. So, we need time to have conditions to compete.
“But the team played, like how we did at Barcelona and Bayern, how I always want my teams to play. It is more important to me than winning a trophy.”
At just 20 years old, Brazil No. 9 Gabriel Jesus has been an instant hit since joining Man City from Palmeiras in January, scoring and assisting on eight goals in nine appearances for the club and at one point relegating regular striker Sergio Aguero to the bench.
However, the talented forward missed nearly 10 weeks of action with a broken foot suffered against Bournemouth in February, leaving Guardiola to lament what could have been this season.