Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola says that his Champions League success at Barcelona was largely down to the fact he had such a high-quality squad.
The Spanish coach was in charge at the Camp Nou between 2008 and 2012, winning 14 major titles including two European Cups and three La Liga crowns.
During his first season at the helm he managed to oversee a historic treble and his strongest team that year is widely regarded as one of the greatest in the history of the game.
Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Xavi, Samuel Etoo, Thierry Henry and Gerard Pique were all lining up week in week out for Barca during the 2018-19 campaign, which saw them beat Manchester United 2-0 in the Champions League final in Rome.
The Spanish giants conquered Europe again in 2011, beating United once more 3-1 at Wembley in England, but Guardiola has since failed to win the prestigious trophy during his spells at Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of City’s last-16 clash against Schalke on Wednesday, Guardiola gave a surprising response when addressing ‘fraud’ accusations at Barcelona, fully agreeing that he was fortunate to have so many top players to call upon at the Camp Nou.
“I completely agree with them,” he began, as per the Manchester Evening News.
“Completely agree with them. I would not argue for one second because when I was there I said many times that I had incredible players.
“I did as well with Munich and Manchester but in Barcelona, I was a lucky guy, I’m sorry, I was lucky. I agree with them.”
Guardiola on the old “fraud” accusations, namely that he only won the Champions League because of Messi and the lads. I’ve kept the question in because fair play to the lad, it was delivered excellently. NB I don’t think Guardiola believes this pic.twitter.com/A685Uwqvw6
— Sam Lee (@Sammy_Goal) February 19, 2019
Guardiola enjoyed a three-year stint at Bayern and won three consecutive Bundesliga titles along with four more major trophies, but he was deemed a failure for not making it beyond the Champions League semi-finals.
At Man City, he has suffered early exits in Europe during his first two seasons in charge, but he has also won the Premier League and the League Cup and his current side are on course for an unprecedented quadruple this term.
The 48-year-old tactician is rightly revered as one of the best managers in the business and if he can win the Champions League come May his place in the hall of fame will be cemented, but if not, his credentials should still never be doubted.