Pep Guardiola says that Sevilla showed their quality on their way to winning the Europa League as City prepare to face the Spanish side in the UEFA Super Cup.
The two sides will meet at the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraes, Greece for Wednesday night’s game at 20:00 (UK) between the Champions League winners and Europa League winners.
City beat some of the best side in Europe, including Bayern Munich and Real Madrid before securing the Champions League trophy with our unforgettable 1-0 victory over Inter in June.
Meanwhile, Sevilla knocked out Manchester United and Juventus before beating Roma in the Europa League final and Guardiola praised their coach Jose Luis Mendilibar.
“I know Mendilibar from my time at Barcelona,” he said. “He turned things around at Sevilla in no time.
“They had a tough final against Roma; matches against [Jose] Mourinho are always challenging and difficult. I know that from personal experience.
“When you see a Mendilibar team play, you can recognise his influence, you can immediately tell it’s his team: they get forward quickly, they make quick use of the wings, they put in a lot of crosses, they get into the box well, they are aggressive and are immediately on it. In fact, under him, they eliminated Man United and [beat] Roma in the final.
“He produced some great performances in the knockout stage. Just as we say Real Madrid are [usually] the favourites to win the Champions League, Sevilla are the favourites in the Europa League.
“I tip my hat off for what this club has done in this competition – it’s incredible. They know how to perform in European competitions, and it will be a good [UEFA Super Cup] final.”
The Champions League victory over Inter in Istanbul was an emotional night for fans, coaching staff and players alike as we won the trophy for the first time.
“When we arrived seven years ago, people said that we had to win [titles] at Manchester City – probably because of my past [success] at other teams – but I didn’t have that feeling,” the boss added.
“After winning four or five Premier Leagues, everybody started to say that if we didn’t win the Champions League, it wouldn’t be a complete success.
“We could accept that reality, but that was because of the previous five Premier League titles we had won. We had reached a final where we didn’t really perform, then reached a couple of semi-finals.
“We could feel that we were really close. However, we always spoke about it: it wasn’t about reaching this final and then not showing up.
“The most important thing is that we have been there or thereabouts for a long time, and when you consistently get there over a long period, you’ll win eventually.
“Kevin is the only player who was already there when I arrived. The other ones, [İlkay] Gundogan arrived at the same time as us, the same for John Stones, but Kevin was the only one who was already here under the previous manager.
“Our relationship is special, we have been through so much together. We have fought a lot, we have hugged a lot, and it was a moment to say: ‘We did it. It’s done’.
“They said that those previous Premier League and FA Cup titles we had won [would mean] nothing if we didn’t win the Champions League. Well, they will have to find another argument because we won it.”
Source : Mancity