Pep Guardiola says his achievements at Manchester City have not been undermined after the club was found guilty by UEFA of Financial Fair Play rule breaches.
City have been suspended from European competition by UEFA for two years as a result of the breaches.
The club’s chief executive Ferran Soriano insists the allegations “are simply not true”. City plan to appeal the ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Guardiola reaffirmed his commitment to City in the wake of the ruling following Wednesday’s 2-0 win over West Ham.
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City officials were keen to move on from the topic at Friday’s press conference to preview Saturday’s game against Leicester City, live on Sky Sports Premier League, but Guardiola was moved to respond when it was put to him the rule breaches may undermine his achievements at the Etihad Stadium in the minds of some.
“I cannot change what people think,” Guardiola said. “I know how hard we work and I am so proud of what we have done in these years together.
“Everything we have won these seasons, nobody helped us. We did an incredible job day by day, game by game and nothing is going to change [that].
“This is not finished, it is not over. We have appealed as a club and we will see what happens.”
Guardiola: Players free to speak out
Guardiola also shrugged off questions regarding Raheem Sterling’s commitment to City.
Sterling described Real Madrid as a “fantastic club” in an interview with Spanish outlet AS ahead of City’s visit to the Bernabeu next week for the first leg of their last-16 tie against the Spanish giants in the Champions League.
Guardiola said: “My players are free to say what they think and what they believe. We are not here to tell them what to say.
“It is normal. He does an interview for the Madrid media and speaks about Madrid.”
Leicester vs Man City
February 22, 2020, 5:00pm
City will travel to the King Power Stadium this weekend looking to cement their grip on second place in the table. They are currently four points ahead of Leicester.
Guardiola admits he has been hugely impressed by the job Brendan Rodgers since taking over from Claude Puel in February, 2019.
“I know the incredible job he did at Liverpool but I was not here [at Man City],” Guardiola said. “I saw his team at Celtic and I said ‘wow, this team plays good and aggressive and has good vibes’.
“Leicester have been incredible all season. They have an incredible organisation with good scouting. They know exactly what they have to do and it is nice to see teams play as well as they play.
“It benefits English football to have these kind of managers and these kind of teams.”
Guardiola also had high praise for Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who has caused City plenty of headaches in recent seasons with six goals in ten appearances against them.
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