Pep Guardiola has clarified comments he made which seemed to suggest his time as manager of Manchester City could be ended prematurely.
Amidst much fanfare the former Barcelona coached signed a three-year contract at the Etihad Stadium during the summer, but despite a hugely encouraging start to life in England, the Spaniard has endured a difficult time of late. The Blues lost three times in December, which has seen them slip to fourth place and seven points off leaders Chelsea.
City did get back to winning ways on 2 January, though, when they beat Burnley 2-1 at home. But following this result Guardiola gave a frosty interview in which he refused to elaborate on any answers he gave to questions, and he was later quoted by NBC as saying he was already in the process of saying goodbye to his coaching career.
However, the 45-year-old, who was latterly at Bayern Munich, has now spent some time to clarify his comments and has insisted he has no plans to quit football in the near future. He also moved to explain why he feels that whilst City are one of the most progressive clubs in Europe, they are still behind some of their rivals including neighbours United.
“I said in the interview that I am not going to training when I am 60 years old,” he said. “But guys, I am 45. I am not going to retire in two, three years. I love my job and I am in the perfect place to do my job, especially here in England. I want to do something else in my life. I started to play football as a young guy. My career was on the pitch.
“But I want to do something else in my life. But not in the next three, four, five, six, seven years. I said 60-65 I would not go to training. But I am not thinking I am going to retire. When I say to compare to the titles and the history of Manchester United, or Liverpool, or Barcelona or Real Madrid – these kinds of clubs – we are behind.
“If people don’t understand then I am sorry. In the last four, five years Manchester City is one of the clubs that grows the most in the world. Maybe PSG and Man City is the best in terms of where they were. Man City have become a strong team. But in terms of just the titles, when you have to win the Champions League, we are behind those clubs.”