Pep Guardiola wants Man City to take their chance and win UEFA Super Cup


Pep Guardiola is determined to cap Manchester City’s “extraordinary” UEFA Champions League triumph with a first-ever UEFA Super Cup.

Last season’s treble against Inter Milan set up a clash against Europa League winners Sevilla at the Olympiacos Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Greece on Wednesday.

Guardiola may become the first manager to win the competition with three different clubs, but this is City’s first taste of the UEFA Super Cup.

“To be here at this press conference before tomorrow, you have to do two extraordinary things: win the Champions League or the Europa League,” he said in Piraeus.

“I have to say it’s not easy. Maybe it’s easier for Sevilla because they won a lot of European leagues. I remember one time they beat Barcelona 3-0 in the Super Cup.

“They have a special character. Resilience in bad moments, play the final. It is not always necessary to always play at the highest level, but they have something in their DNA that makes this team and this club different.

“They are so mentally strong but you can’t imagine how incredibly happy we are here to play this game because you have to win the Champions League.

“This is an opportunity we want to take because who knows when we’ll be back here to play this tournament.

Sevilla won on their Super Cup debut in 2006, but the perennial Europa League winners are now looking to avoid a sixth straight defeat at this stage.

There are a number of familiar faces in Jose Luis Mendilibar’s squad, including former City players Fernando and Jesus Navas.

“Knowing what I know now, maybe I would have extended the contract when we were together after the first season,” Guardiola said of Sevilla captain Navas.

“We made the decision because we were an old team at that time. We needed to refresh the team mentally. That’s why we’re going to make a lot of changes that year.

“But it’s unbelievable that he’s playing at 37, 38 and I know how dedicated he is to his club, the Sevilla captain. I’m really happy to see him tomorrow and say hello.”

City are looking to lift their first silverware of the season after losing the Community Shield on penalties to Arsenal.

Stefan Ortega started this match and the backup goalkeeper is expected to get the nod in Piraeus amid interest from German giants Bayern Munich.

“It would be a problem to lose him mainly because of the quality,” Guardiola said of Ortega, who arrived from Arminia Bielefeld last summer.

“We brought him here because (head of goalkeeping) Xabi Mancisidor sent me clips and said this is the goalkeeper we might need.

“I didn’t know him. He was playing for a team that was relegated from the Bundesliga and I saw him and I said ‘oh, he looks good’. But from the first day I thought ‘what a keeper we have.’

“You know how many important games he played and how he saved us. We don’t want to sell it, we don’t want to lend it. We need him.

“But like many cases it depends on three parts, because then when we lose Stefano two weeks out (of the end of the) market, we have to go and get a goalkeeper and now it’s not easy.

“You have to pay the transfer (fee) and that is not easy. We want him. I’m sorry, but we want him.”

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