Pep Guardiola insists his legacy is “exceptional already” even if Manchester City do not achieve their treble dream.
A potentially historic end of the season lies ahead of City with one win needed to claim a fifth Premier League title in six years and an FA Cup final at Wembley against Manchester United to come.
But first Guardiola’s side host Real Madrid in their Champions League semi-final second leg on Wednesday although whatever happens in the remaining weeks of the season, the City boss is not concerned about how he will be remembered.
“My legacy is exceptional already,” he said ahead of facing Real. “I have been here many times already.
“We are not stupid to know how important [Wednesday’] game is. It is maybe one of the most important games since we are together here. We cannot deny that. For the competition, for the rival, for many things.
“I said to the players live it like a huge opportunity, enjoy the moment, we are incredibly lucky to be here. It is in our hands, it depends on us, we don’t have to do something exceptional, just be ourselves and win one game to reach the final.
“We can arrive in a good moment but you have to perform well. It’s not just the desire or dream,” he said. “All they have to do is what they have done for many years, especially this season. I have a feeling we have to do better than at the Bernabeu to reach the final.
“The team who deserves to win, hopefully they win. We have to perform well. This is my focus and I have to put it in the mind and heart of my players. They have to make an incredible performance to beat Real Madrid.”
Guardiola has been accused of “over-thinking” big matches in the past having lost seven times in the Champions League semi-finals during his career, but he says this time he will be keeping things simple.
“There are many things you cannot control but my only wish for my players is to be ourselves,” he said.
“I cannot tell you here [my tactics]. It’s nothing special, I’m not overthinking [Wednesday], don’t worry guys. Nothing differently that we have done in the past