Guardiola Eyes Club World Cup | City Faces Urawa in Semifinals
|Manchester City Head Coach Pep Guardiola gestures during the FIFA Club World Cup Semi-final match between Urawa Reds and Manchester City at King Abdullah Sports City on December 19, 2023 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia(Image-Getty)
Pep Guardiola has 'fulfilled the dream' of Manchester City winning the Champions League last season. Not only the Champions League, but the Etihad club also achieved a great feat in winning the treble last season. Now Guardiola has a chance to complete the circle for City. Guardiola has won all but one possible title for City. The one remaining title is the Club World Cup title. Guardiola himself, however, won the trophy twice for Barcelona and once for Bayern Munich. This is a chance to win the title for City.
City will have to overcome the two-match barrier to claim the trophy. The first of which will see City face Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds in the semi-finals tonight at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Saudi Arabia. If they win this match, City will face Brazil's Fluminense in Friday's final. Fluminense beat Egyptian club Al Ahly 2-0 in the first semi-final.
Japan's Urawa is not even close to the city in terms of energy. The European champions will enter the field with the aim of an easy victory tonight. However, despite being absolute favourites, City may be in danger if they take an unfamiliar opponent lightly. Guardiola expressed more concern about the fatigue of playing consecutive matches than the fight on the field before the match. However, the Spanish coach also said that he was happy to play in this competition.
"We want to win it," Guardiola told a pre-match press conference in Jeddah. We do not have this trophy. It's an opportunity to fill in small circles and win everything possible. Maybe we won't get this chance again. In the Premier League we have matches every three days, it's tough. The players know that and we will try to do better.
Guardiola, who is looking forward to use the opportunity, also said, "Manchester City has come here for the first time. It is my pleasure to come here. We see it as something special. It is an honor to be here. To be able to sit here and play tomorrow means we've done great things in the past. We should take advantage of this opportunity and go to the final as qualified.
Recently, FIFA has confirmed the change in the format of the competition. From 2025, the competition will mainly be held between 32 teams. The competition will be held in the United States from June 15 to July 13. "I am not against new competition," said Guardiola about the new format. I am against having less time to prepare ourselves for years. I have been complaining about this.