Guardiola says Real Madrid’s biggest asset is their Champions League experience
MOSCOW, 25 April – What sets Real Madrid players apart from Manchester City players is their experience of playing in the semi-finals of the Champions League, head coach Josep Guardiola said at a press conference.
Manchester City will take on Real Madrid in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final on Tuesday. Over the past 10 years, Real Madrid have won the tournament four times, Manchester City have played once in the final (2020/21) and once in the semi-finals (2015/16), losing the second time to Madrid.
“It’s an honor to play in the semi-finals against Real Madrid. 10 years ago we started playing in this competition and here we are. If history competed, we wouldn’t stand a chance, Real Madrid’s history speaks for itself. We must to want to face them, to play against Real Madrid is a real test that we want to try, we have to endure, stick together and when we have the ball, try to attack,” Guardiola was quoted as saying by the club’s website.
“It’s like playing against Bayern or Barcelona, teams that have been in the semi-finals many times. We weren’t here 10 years ago, but now we’re here. Tomorrow it’s going to be 11 players against 11 players. We’re playing against players who have been in that position many times, which we may not have yet, but maybe we have things that they don’t have,” he added.
According to the coach, defenders John Stones and Kyle Walker, who are recovering from injuries, are at risk of missing the meeting, and in the last match of the English Championship against Watford (5: 1), defender Nathan Ake and midfielder Kevin De Bruyne played through pain. Defensive player Joao Cancelo will miss the game due to yellow cards.