Pep Explains Retirement Comments

Pep Guardiola has clarified his comments about his plans for retirement and Manchester City's stature in relation to Europe's grandest clubs.

Guardiola was speaking at his first press conference since his terse interviews in the wake of City's 2-1 victory against Burnley on Monday.

The City boss' demeanour sparked a wave of criticism from fans and media, while parts of a pre-recorded interview with NBC was used by some as proof that he was not happy with life in England and was already planning an escape route.

The former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss, however, had merely said that he would not be coaching when he was 60 years old, and he took the opportunity ahead of City's FA Cup game at West Ham to explain exactly what he meant.

“I said in the interview I am not going to be training when I am 60 years old. But guys, I am 45," he said.

“I am not going to retire in two or three years. I love my job and am in the perfect place to do my job, especially here in England.

“I won't be training at 60 years because I want to do something else in my life. I started playing football as a young guy, and my whole career was on the pitch, so I want to do something else in my life. But not in the next three, four, five or seven years.

“I said I wouldn't be training at 60 or 65. Maybe it was inappropriate to say I am starting to say goodbye to my career, but I know what I am thinking about when I am going to retire."

Guardiola also said in the same interview that City were years behind clubs such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona and Real Madrid, a comment which was leapt upon by certain supporters and journalists who interpreted it as a lack of respect.

But again Guardiola was keen to point out his intentions: “In terms of titles, of history. To a Manchester City fan, Manchester City are the most important thing, and always that remains.

“When I said compare history and titles with United and Liverpool, Barcelona and Madrid, that kind of club, we are behind. If people don't understand that, I am sorry.

“But the moment I took charge of a club like Manchester City, or before in Barcelona or Munich, it is the most important thng in my life to try to help them, to get them better.

“That's my job here. But if you compare the titles Manchester United got in the last 20 years, not the last three or four, because in the last five or six years Manchester City have been the best club. They [City] are the club who have achieved the most. In terms of targets of getting better, of growing, of achieving the most, they are the best in the world, by far.

“City are the best in terms of where they were. After Sheikh Mansour and Khaldoon, City have become a strong team.

“But in terms of the titles, we are behind other clubs in the last 20 years. Liverpool didn't win the Premier League for 25 years but in titles they are better than Manchester City.

“But City being less than the others ones? I never said that.

“We are going to fight until the end of the season for all the titles, of course, but I never said this club is below the others right now.

“Since I came here we have fought in every game to win the games, better or not better, good football or not good football.

“But we tried. I respect a lot. I am grateful to be here. And will always be grateful for the opportunity Manchester City gave me to be here with you, in this Premier League, to know what it means, for the experience for me and my family.

“Always I will be grateful to the people who asked me to come here.