Pep Guardiola claimed this season’s Champions League will be more difficult than ever for Manchester City to win.
City are in their 10th consecutive season in the competition and have never got further than a semi-final appearance in 2015-16 when Manuel Pellegrini was charge.
Guardiola, who twice won the Champions League as Barcelona head coach, was appointed City manager with a remit to bring European silverware to the club.
Under the Catalan they have consistently reached the knockout phase, but have never progressed beyond the quarter-final stage.
And ahead of their Group C clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday, Guardiola acknowledged the quest to become European champions seems to become more of a challenge with each passing season.
“It’s tough, really tough. There’s many examples to prove what I’m saying,” Guardiola told a media conference on Monday.
“There are more games with managers better prepared, more games where they know what they have to do. Teams are better.
“There is more money everywhere not just a few clubs, a lot of clubs have the possibility to spend and buy players, and there are important managers.
“It’s difficult. Last season, Atalanta, look what happened, semi-finals of the Champions League, and the Italian league was incredible.
“Shakhtar Donetsk, look what happened and now in Real Madrid and a draw against Inter. It ridiculous, this didn’t exist before. It doesn’t matter where you go.
“It’s hard to qualify [for the knockout stage], every time we qualify I say to players ‘congratulations, enjoy that moment’ but it’s the first success of the season, to qualify for the next round.”
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