Pep Guardiola: Man City boss hits out at UEFA and calls for changes after European Super League row

Watch Manchester City vs Tottenham in the Carabao Cup final live on Sky Sports Football from 4pm on Sunday with kick-off at 4.30pm; Pep Guardiola criticises UEFA over fixture congestion: "It's like an actor or actress in a theatre going three times a day"

Pep Guardiola has defended his decision to make eight changes 1:09
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola admits money is a huge factor in the game, but insists equality for everyone is what's best for the future of football

Pep Guardiola has hit out at UEFA over fixture congestion and feels changes are needed to the game in the wake of the European Super League debacle.

The fury over the failed European Super League has overshadowed UEFA's decision to approve changes to the format of the Champions League from 2024.

The competition is to be increased from 32 to 36 teams with a revamped group stage that will see all teams play at least 10 fixtures.

Guardiola says UEFA may need 'to extend the year', as players are asked to play too many games in a season

Guardiola said: "Every time it's the same. All the managers and players ask for better quality and the football world goes for quantity.

"But we are not in charge of that. We have to ask UEFA and FIFA to extend the year, maybe have 400 days a year. Maybe then they can find a solution on that."

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Asked if the desire to make money had overtaken the desire to be competitive and win football matches, Guardiola added: "Everyone in his job there is an important balance. It's a business. We cannot deny it is a business.

"All the clubs and all the fans want the best players as possible. For that you need investments. Everyone does it. The chapter is over and the club made an honest statement. We will learn from that. It is time to move on.

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"You have to change something in the future. The Champions League started as just champions then for top four. It changed.

"Everyone has the quality, they deserve to play. After that, people in charge with wise, smart brains decide what's best for football."

Guardiola was also asked about his concerns over player injuries - and specifically Ilkay Gundogan's tweet on Thursday - in which he labelled the proposed Champions League reforms as "the lesser of two evils" in comparison to the European Super League.

Guardiola admitted due to fixture congestion, Sunday's Carabao Cup final against Tottenham - live on Sky Sports Football - had fallen down his list of priorities this season, despite the team targeting their fourth title in a row.

"Now we play at an important time of the season, it's a mix of contradiction," he added.

"It's a final [against Tottenham] but one eye is on the Champions League [semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain] and [Premier League fixture against] Crystal Palace.

"The Carabao Cup is nice, we play to win the title, but PSG is there, we have one eye on that. We see what happens on Sunday.

Live EFL Cup

"This season, you play in the middle of the season. I would say the Premier League is the first title of the season, then the Champions League to qualify is the second title. The third is Europe, then FA Cup, then after the Carabao Cup.

"We cannot forget, we started the season against Wolves. We had one friendly game. We do not have one midweek off.

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"I cannot train them, just to handle the team as sharp as possible. I cannot train anything, just videos, remember what you have to do. You have no pre-season to learn principles. As a manager, yes international break, but not the players.

"Then the Community Shield if we qualify. The players love to play, but sometimes will get injured. UEFA knows it, but don't care. We are going to play, we are lucky we're in the Champions League next season.

"It's a lot, honestly, we didn't have a midweek off. There will be more injuries. These guys finish an incredibly tough season, six days break then go to the national teams.

"Every time we speak about it to UEFA, they say we take note but after that more games.

"Then a new competition. It's like an actor or actress in a theatre going three times a day - they like to make a good performance but three times a day is too much."

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