Pep Guardiola says only Manchester City made him an offer
By Stephen Turner
Last Updated: 08/07/16 8:33pm
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City were the only club to offer him the challenge he craved of coaching in the Premier League.
The Catalan showed up for his first news conference as City boss and revealed the motivation for his move: the opportunity of proving his own brand of possession-based football can work in England.
And City's new head coach said he owed a debt of gratitude to the men who made his dream a reality.
Asked if the style which brought multiple trophies at Barcelona and Bayern Munich could prosper amid the Premier League's mayhem Guardiola said firmly: "That's why I'm here - to prove I'm able to do that.
"I was at Barcelona where I had the best player ever, and I knew the players from the academy. Then at Bayern, who had a lot of experience as well for many, many things. Now this is another test for me.
"It would have been comfortable to stay where we were. But I feel it's the right time to come here and prove myself. I have to convince the players to play the way I - we - want. At the end we will see."
Asked how many offers from England there had been he said: "Seriously, it was this one, so always I will be grateful to the people who trusted me to join the country and the Premier League.
"A coach, sooner or later, has to prove what it means to play in the Premier League. Manchester City gave me this chance and I will always be grateful. I will do my best until the last day to achieve what we want."
City have already brought in four players since Guardiola was announced as the incoming boss, and further additions could follow before a rude awakening to the Premier League against Sam Allardyce's Sunderland.
"Against 'Big Sam' I will play my first game here," he said. "But I'm pretty sure it will be completely different.
"That's why I'm here, and of course I have to adapt my ideas to the quality of the players. And we're [also] looking for players to adapt to what I want because it's difficult for me to convince players of something I don't believe.
"So in this mix we have to find each other - as soon as possible - but there are two or three things that are not going to change for the rest of my life as a coach.
"At the end what we want is so, so simple: when the opponent has the ball try to win it back; when we have it try to create as many chances as possible."
City supporters should not expect a lifetime of Guardiola, though. Asked whether this would be his last job in football he said: "I don't think so, no."