Guardiola rethinking early retirement

Guardiola rethinking early retirement

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he may stay in management much longer than he anticipated.

Guardiola, 49, has previously talked of limiting his time in football to pursue other interests.

“Before, I thought I was going to retire soon. Now I’m thinking I’m going to retire older. So, I don’t know,” Guardiola said.

The Spaniard signed a new two-year deal at City in November and has won six major trophies at the club.

Prior to his arrival in Manchester, Guardiola, who turns 50 this month, spent four years as manager of Barcelona and three in charge of Bayern Munich.

“Experience helps you, especially the way I live my profession,” he added.

Guardiola’s five-year stay at City represents the longest commitment he has made to a club in his management career.

He has won two Premier League titles, the FA Cup and three League Cups since joining them in 2016.

Guardiola downplays title talk

Despite going into Sunday’s match at Chelsea on the back of a six-game unbeaten run and with two games in hand on most clubs around them in the table, he is cautious about talk of winning a third league title.

“If you think about what [can] happen in January, February – the two games [in hand], we can lose these two games and anything can happen,” he said.

“So, in the Premier League, every game is so tough and it is better to be calm. The real Premier League, the people I spoke to before I landed here, said everyone can lose to everyone. I didn’t see this until now.

“Now is the first time when I see in the Premier League, one team is able to lose or win seven, and after draw, and after lose. The results are unpredictable.”

Among the challengers this season are arch rivals Manchester United, who City face in the Carabao Cup semi-finals.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side have been rejuvenated in recent weeks, shrugging off the disappointment of a Champions League exit with some excellent domestic form.

“Ole is happier than me,” said Guardiola, whose preparations have been affected by five players testing positive for Covid-19.

“But I am not much concerned about United. I am so busy with what we have to do and what we can do with the players.

“They are there because they deserve it. Since I arrived I expected them to be there all the time. Sometimes in the last seasons it has not been possible, especially in the Premier League.”

BBC Online

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