Despite the fact that Manchester City have had the ban by UEFA upheld, Manager Pep Guardiola is adamant, that it should not be factor for them to get motivated ahead the restart of the UEFA Champions league knock-out round.
City successfully overturned a two-year European ban at the Court of Arbitration for Sport earlier this month after vigorously defending themselves against allegations of financial misconduct.
The ban was placed on them after an investigation, various other leading football figures around the continent, either connected to rival clubs or foreign competitions, had apparently backed the punishment.
Pep Guardiola whose side has little or nothing to play for this season, insists atoning for past mistakes is not part of the motivation.
“The drive to go through must be to play a good game. What I want is to do a good game. It’s a page or chapter for me that is over, that is closed. We are happy because we showed to the world we are clean.
“We followed completely the rules about Financial Fair Play. But even that we know what happened, the people are talking about this. The rumours will always be there.
“But it is not more satisfaction or less satisfaction for winning. Now we have in front an important game for us.
“With a great joy, we are going to prepare and try to be there – and go to Lisbon, like Madrid always expect to be there too.”
“It is absolutely a final for us, for Madrid it is a final. In the final we must avoid making mistakes and play football like we are (capable of).
“It is not good what happened in the past but that is not going to make you play better. What happened in the past is the past.
“These kind of games, special games, it is the desire of every single player to try to win.”
“This issue is over. UEFA accused us, (saying) that it was not fair what we had done in the process.
“After, independent judges said: ‘No, they (City) were right.” He said
Manchester City will now face Real Madrid in the second leg of the Round of 16 clash between the two clubs, City will head into that game with 2-1 lead.
Winning the UEFA Champions League is definitely Pep’s priority as Manchester City have not laid their hands on any European silverware, despite impressive run-of-form in the domestic scene. They missed out against clubs like Monaco, Liverpool and Tottenham in the knockout stages despite being favorites to go through.
It gives them a strong chance of progressing in a competition in which they have continually slipped up unexpectedly.