Manchester City are preparing to play Chelsea in the Champions League final and Pep Guardiola has admitted that he faces a selection headache ahead of the crucial fixture that could see City claim Europe’s biggest trophy for the first time in their history.
In a season characterized by the collective spirit and effort of Manchester City’s entire squad, a fully fit 24-man party has travelled to Portugal. This means players who have made a telling contribution to what is already a successful campaign will be left out of the starting XI in the biggest game of all.
Guardiola has admitted to the club’s official website that doing so is his most difficult task as manager.
However, the Catalan is adamant he must put such concerns when it comes to selecting a team to win the game and says it is important that those named amongst the substitutes remember they still have a part to play.
“Terrible,” he said when asked what it is like to leave players out. “It is an absolute disaster. I don’t have any nice words to feel relief about the guys who won’t play. My advice is stick with the team because there are five or six substitutions and everyone will play a part,” he said to mancity.com
Guardiola then revealed that winning the game is the ultimate achievement and the players must understand that. He said: “I just feel incredibly sorry for all of them [ players that would not start ], because they deserve it, but it is what it is. I am going to select a team to win the game. There is no alternative.”
The Manchester City boss has won the tournament twice in his career, in 2009 and 2011, with Barcelona. He has also lost only one of the fifteen cup finals he has played in his managerial career and would be hoping to continue his incredible record.