Pep Guardiola met the media for the first time on Friday since officially taking up his post as Manchester City boss.
Here are some of the key messages to emerge from Guardiola’s press conference.
On renewing his rivalry with old adversary and new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho
I think Jose said it pretty well that it is not about him or me. What I saw from the distance is it is so tough to win the games here. We played many times against each other. I can say, they help me, the big coaches, and Jose is one of them, they help me to reach another level. My experience against him, against (Liverpool boss) Jurgen Klopp at Dortmund, a lot of coaches in Germany and Spain they made me better. All the managers in the world want to win and we are going to try and win as well.
On his tactical battles with other high-profile coaches like Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea’s Antonio Conte
It is going to be interesting. (Antonio) Conte is a master tactician, a great signing for Chelsea. It is going to be very interesting competing with him and Klopp, (Claudio) Ranieri and (Ronald) Koeman also, loads of coaches come to mind.
On whether this is his greatest challenge yet
Every stage is a big challenge. It could be the biggest because City have not won as many titles as Barca or Bayern but I don’t know. The challenge is coming to a new country and trying to prove yourself. I know how difficult it is in England to find a team to win four, five, six games in a row. It is not easy. All the managers who have more experience than me in England are talking about that. Maybe that is the challenge, to try to be more consistent in our game. But I think in my career people are always going to demand from my teams in the way they are going to train to try and win the maximum possible. In the end that is good. It is better to live under that pressure.
On what style of play he intends to install at his new club
The way in Germany is completely different to Spain. I’ve never played one game in the Premier League, against Sunderland, against Big Sam. I am pretty sure it will be completely different in England. That’s why I’m here, to see how it is and I have to adapt to my ideas to the quality of my players. We are looking for the players as well to adapt to what I want because it’s difficult for me to convince the players in something I don’t believe. In this mix we have to find each other, as soon as possible. There are two or three things that I’m going to change for the rest of my life as a coach, it will always be the same. After that, the details, it depends on the quality of the players.
On how many job offers he had previously received from English clubs
Seriously, it was this one. Always I will be grateful for this club, for the people who trust me to join this country and the Premier League. The coaches sooner or later have to prove, sooner or later, what does it mean to play in the Premier League and Manchester City gave me this challenge, this opportunity and I will also be grateful for that.
On the criticism Joe Hart and Raheem Sterling have received since England’s Euro 2016 exit
They were criticised when they (England) lost. When they lost it does not depend on Sterling. I hear the last 10 days what happened, especially with Sterling. Of course he has a little problem that the money they paid for him is always in the mind of the people but I am curious, I am looking forward to working with him to try to help him, to show him how good a player he is and not just him, Joe Hart and the other English players. In Barcelona the basis was Catalan, Spanish players, in Bayern Munich the basis was (German players) and I would like to work with English players here but they are so expensive, more than the other players around the world.
On City captain Vincent Kompany and the injury issues that have plagued him over the past couple of years
(People in) England know his quality maybe better than me. My dream for Vincent Kompany is to be fit. Especially in the last two years, he’s played not too many games. The captain has a lot of experience, he’s a magnificent central defender but he has to be fit. We spoke to him and said, ‘Just focus on your body, forget about the other kind of things’, to come back to what you were in the past. After that, Vincent will show his qualities.
On Yaya Toure, who was sold to City from Barcelona when Guardiola was manager there
I know Yaya for a long time. He did very, very well in Barcelona and here as well. He’s a huge, huge talent. Of course all the players that are here count on me. After that, we will see what happens in the future, not just in the case of Yaya. Yaya’s here, I count on him.
On adding further new signings after already acquiring Ilkay Gundogan, Nolito and Oleksandr Zinchenko
All the clubs in the world try to make the best squads possible. I’m sorry, here is maybe not the right place to talk about new players, for respect for the players, for the other clubs. We are going to try to move a little bit the squad, we are going to try.