The City manager is preparing his side for their opening Champions League clash against Feyenoord tonight and has warned his players that the Dutch team will be no pushovers. I was a football player working with my idol Johan Cruyff [at Barcelona] and after that Louis van Gaal, a lot of Holland players in my team.
The money lavished on player upgrades this summer speaks volumes for the ambition of Guardiola, the club and Sheikh Mansour.
"Now is just the warming up and in February when us English teams, we are trying to survive after the winter period, they will be fresh and ready after these warm-ups".
"Feyenoord have more European titles than City", Guardiola said.
"I am so happy with what the club have done", he said. I know how complicated it is.
Guardiola, speaking at his pre-match press conference in Rotterdam, simply said a "sporting decision" had been made to omit the veteran midfielder from his squad. When asked about the Ivorian's absence from his side, the City manager said: "I spoke with him, he knows the reason why". They are riding on a 12 matches unbeaten stretch dating back to last season and would love to add a win when they meet Feyenoord in Netherlands today. Six players finished their contract and he was the only one who stayed because he's a special player.
With injury doubts once again circling around captain Vincent Kompany and Nicolas Otamendi's woeful lack of pace shown up by the trouble he got from Mohamed Salah, the Catalan's insistence on three at the back and gung-ho attacking may be tempered on this occasion.
"But the decision is he didn't play the last game, and today he is not in the squad and he knows the reason why".
The Rotterdammers go into the game full of confidence having won all four of their league games so far this campaign, but Pep Guardiola's star studded side will pose the toughest test they have faced so far.
The Brazilian, 24, needed eight stitches in his face after being caught by a high boot from Sadio Mane during the 5-0 win over Liverpool on Saturday.