Godin close to leave Inter08 April 2020 / Rui Sousa
The defender failed to adapt to Conte's tactical system and could leave in the next transfer window.
Real Madrid-Manchester City is probably the most exciting clash the draw of the knockout stages of the Champions League left on Monday. The English champion against the King of Europe, the eternal aspirant against the team of the 13 European trophies, with the incentive of seeing Pep Guardiola again in the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The Catalan coach will return to a stadium that has been key in his career, for good on some occasions, for bad on others, and now it will be all or nothing for the ‘Citizens’.
Pep Guardiola will be relishing the chance to take Man City to the Santiago Bernabeu in the Champions League... as both a player and coach, no one has done more to knock Real Madrid off their perch (and he's lost there just once as a manager!) https://t.co/weR1XGCm11— MailOnline Sport (@MailSport) December 16, 2019
From here to March the seasons of Real Madrid and City may vary, but the 14 points difference between Guardiola’s team and Liverpool practically rules out the Manchester side for the Premier League bid. Therefore, the importance of this tie for Pep is definitive. Or eliminate the almighty Real Madrid in the Round of 16, which would be a milestone for a City that already kneeled against the Spanish giant in the semifinals of 2015/16 with Manuel Pellegrini on the English bench, or be eliminated again in a competition that has been Guardiola’s unfinished Business since he left Barcelona.
The former Bayern coach repeated during his time at the Camp Nou that no matter what happened, in the end, he always had to go to the Bernabéu to win the Leagues. A stadium where he has left scenes that are part of the history of the rivalry between Madrid and Barça. From the 2-6 and the famous invention of Messi as false '9', to the famous press conference where his words about Mourinho were in newspapers around the world the day before to a Champions League semifinals match. In that time his balance with Barça was immaculate in Madrid’s stadium. Five victories and one draw, with 16 goals scored and only three received. The streak was truncated with Bayern, semifinals of 2013/14 against the Ancelotti team that would later celebrate in Lisbon, with the 1-0 mark by Benzema’s goal that was rounded up with a hard 0-4 for the Spaniards in Munich.
17 - No side has Pep Guardiola met more in his managerial career than Real Madrid, with the Spaniard winning nine, drawing four and losing four of his 17 previous meetings with them. Titans. #UCLDraw pic.twitter.com/PGALy3Cill— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 16, 2019
In total, Guardiola has faced Real Madrid 17 times, with four defeats, the last three in a row (both with Bayern and the 1-2 with which Mourinho sentenced La Liga in the Camp Nou). He went from winning his first five ‘Clasicos’ to accumulating three defeats against his big rivals. City’s 4-1 victory in the International Champions Cup in July 2017 wasn´t more than a friendly match but is the only face to face Guardiola and Zidane had on the benches so far.
Since then, and from the distance, Guardiola has been pronouncing with respect about Real Madrid, alternating praise with poisoned darts, the last when in February he got involved in a discussion with Santiago Solari – when the Argentine was Madrid’s coach - for defending that ‘Los Blancos’ were not one of the best teams of the decade. Those words were not appreciated in the Spanish capital, in the same way that Guardiola’s open independence position in the Catalan conflict also arouses hostility in broad sectors of the white fans. In short, Guardiola faces his biggest enemy in football in a tie for all or nothing. A new deception, matching his more premature elimination in the Champions League (last 16 against Monaco in his first year in Manchester) and leaving the campaign in a situation that can be more than delicate, or an enormous triumph, historic for his club if he manages to knock down Real Madrid. For this, the first step is in the Bernabéu, where Guardiola is seen as an ogre.
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