MX23RW : Monday, March 9 08:37:44| >> :600:1036656:1036656:
Feb 26, 2020 at 8pm UK at ​Estadio Santiago Bernabeu
Attendance: 75,615
Real Madrid
Man CityManchester City
Isco (60')
Ramos (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Jesus (78'), De Bruyne (83' pen.)

Pep Guardiola "optimistic" that Man City will beat European ban

Pep Guardiola
© Reuters
City are appealing against UEFA's decision to ban them from European competition for two years.

Pep Guardiola has full confidence in Manchester City as they take their battle against their Champions League expulsion to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

City, who claim they have "irrefutable evidence" backing their case, are appealing against their two-year ban from European competition for Financial Fair Play breaches.

Manager Guardiola, who last week said he was committed to the club, claims to have seen this evidence and is strongly backing the fight against the UEFA-imposed sanction.

He said: "We were under suspicion for a long time but we have the right to appeal. I trust the people in my club.

"They have explained the reasons and shown me arguments and the proof, and we are optimistic that finally, if we deserve to be in the Champions League next season, we can do it.

"If it doesn't happen we have to accept and move forward with the people who want to stay but we are going to see what happens with CAS."

Pep Guardiola's side have struggled in European knockout games in recent years
Pep Guardiola's side have struggled in European knockout games in recent years (Martin Rickett/PA)

Guardiola was speaking at a press conference at the Bernabeu ahead of the first leg of this year's last-16 tie against Real Madrid.

Approaching the contest as if it might be City's last opportunity in the competition is not something that has entered his mind.

He said: "No way! These players will have a lot of chances to win the Champions League.

"This season is a big opportunity. I know we play the king of this competition and we know the challenge in front of us but, at the same time, it's not the last one.

Real Madrid have won the competition a record 13 times
Real Madrid have won the competition a record 13 times (Mike Egerton/PA)

"When you die, after there are no more chances. But in life, if you are in this business and you want to train and play, you never know what is going to happen. There is no special motivation."

Playmaker David Silva, who is in his final season at City, also insisted the matter was not something the players were thinking about.

The 34-year-old said: "It is not on us. We have to be focused on playing. After the club is working on it. We have nothing to do with that."

Winger Raheem Sterling – who was recently linked with Real – is poised to return to action at the Bernabeu after three weeks out with a hamstring injury.

Guardiola said: "His natural condition, his regeneration is amazing. He said to us he could have played against West Ham and Leicester but the doctor said, 'Be careful'.

"But he wanted to play and that's a good sign. He's fit, he's ready."

body check tags ::

Click here for more stories about Pep Guardiola

Click here for more stories about Manchester City

Share this article now:
New Instagram promo
Sergio Ramos celebrates scoring for Real Madrid on November 30, 2019
Read Next:
David Silva: 'Sergio Ramos would improve Man City'
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
2Manchester CityMan City28183768313757
3Leicester CityLeicester28155854282650
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd29129844301445
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves29101364134743
7Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd28111073025543
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs29118104740741
11Crystal Palace29109102632-639
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2998122541-1635
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton29611123240-829
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham2976163550-1527
19Aston Villa2774163452-1825
20Norwich CityNorwich2956182552-2721

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!