- Manchester City has never won the Champions League.
- But former player DaMarcus Beasley is backing it to finally break its duck this season.
- “I think, hopefully, Pep and the players can finally do it this year,” the USMNT told Insider.
USMNT legend and Manchester City star DaMarcus Beasley has backed Pep Guardiola to finally bring the Champions League title to the Etihad Stadium this season after five years of failure in an interview with Insider.
Guaridola has enjoyed unprecedented domestic success since taking over as City’s manager in 2016, winning three Premier League titles, four League Cups, and the FA Cup.
However, the Spaniard has been unable to replicate those achievements in Europe, with City failing to go past the quarterfinals of the Champions League in each of his first four years in charge before losing to Chelsea in the final last year.
City booked its spot in this season’s semifinals Wednesday night with a battling 0-0 draw with Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, having won the first-leg of the tie 1-0 courtesy of a goal from Kevin De Bruyne. The game was ill-tempered, eventually boiling over into a post-match brawl in the tunnel.
Having bested one Madrid side, City now face the city’s other giants — Real Madrid — in the semifinals.
Despite mounting pressure on Guardiola to finally deliver City the elusive trophy for the first ever time, Beasley is betting on his former team to come up trumps.
“I think there’s good pressure and I think there’s bad pressure, and I think this a good type of pressure,” Beasley, who spent the 2006-2007 season on-loan at City from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven, told Insider ahead of the quarterfinal second leg.
“And I’m sure [Guardiola] puts that pressure on himself to win the Champions League, but at the same time, winning the Premier League is just as hard because you have many good teams that can win on any day.
“But yeah, when speaking about the Champions League, we always say as City fans, we always say, ‘It’s gonna be this year, it’s going be this year.’ But I think, hopefully, Pep and the players can finally do it this year, even though they have a tough road to get there, but anytime you’re in this stage of Champions League, it’s always tough.”
—Manchester City (@ManCity) April 13, 2022
City’s players have made no secret of their desire to win the Champions League this season.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s clash against Atleti, Fernandinho, who has been at the club since 2013, told reporters last season’s defeat to Chelsea in the final “hurt everyone in the club.”
“It was so hard for us, but we have a chance to go again,” he said.
“The Champions League is the most prestigious competition and we want to win it. I have another chance. We will try to do it.”
Jack Grealish, who joined City for a Premier League record fee of $138 million from Aston Villa in the summer, also said Wednesday the team was desperate to finally win the Champions League this term.
“Most of the lads here have won everything, numerous times as well, so I think that’s the one that everyone wants this year,” he told City’s website.
“It’s brilliant if we can go and win every competition that we’re in, but that being one that we haven’t won yet, that’s what we have our eyes on.”