Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola has spoken about his side’s upcoming Champions League round of 16 second leg clash with Real Madrid.
The Catalan discussed Zinedine Zidane’s approach, Karim Benzema and his own defence, as well as revealing that Eric Garcia doesn’t want to renew his contract.
Guardiola feels that the second leg will be very different to the first which his side won 2-1.
“The first leg was played a long time ago, a long time,” he said during his press conference.
“They are different games.
“We are at home, but without our fans.
“This sport is for the people. The players want to play with them in the stands and for themselves, but now it is not possible.
“This is reality. The first thing is health. We will see when it will be possible [to have fans].
“It matters more that the children return to school than fans to the stadiums.”
Asked about his leaky defence, Guardiola doesn’t feel any special measures need to be taken.
“Every situation is different,” he said.
“In this competition, mistakes punish you a lot.
“We have talked about that, but sometimes you just have to applaud the opponent.
“We are aware that we have to take another step.”
The City coach also praised Zinedine Zidane for his unpredictability.
“I think [Madrid] are a team that you expect them to be one way and they come out another,” he said.
“We have talked about them, but we have focused more on ourselves, on what we have to do to beat them.
“In the first leg we saw more things from Madrid, because we knew them less.”
Guardiola’s Barcelona past is well known but the Catalan maintains that defeating facing Real Madrid needs no added motivation.
“No. Of course I’m a Barcelona supporter, but I’ve already played against Bayern and Barcelona,” he said.
“I’m focused on what we have to do for this club to get to the next round.
“I want to beat any opponent, whoever they are.”
Karim Benzema is among the main men to watch for City, and Guardiola was full of praise for the Frenchman, although he didn’t want to go too far.
“Benzema is extraordinary, fantastic,” he said.
“But since my time at Barcelona there have been 20 players that have come onto the scene and people have asked if we can compare him with [Leo] Messi. 20 players.”
Guardiola confirmed that Eric Garcia doesn’t want to renew his contract with the club which is set to expire in the summer of 2021.
With Barcelona interested in the youngster, it appears likely that the Catalans will be encouraged to make a move for the defender.
“He has a year left, but he has already told us that he does not want to renew,” Guardiola revealed during his press conference.
“So we assume that he will want to play elsewhere.”