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Thursday 12 December 2019

Khaldoon Al Mubarak sees Pep Guardiola as "incredible asset" for Manchester City

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, pictured, sees Pep Guardiola as
Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, pictured, sees Pep Guardiola as "an incredible asset"

Manchester City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has spoken of his excitement at the appointment of Pep Guardiola as manager and backed the Spaniard to be "an incredible asset" who will "transform" the team.

Guardiola, having departed Bayern Munich, begins a three-year contract as City boss this summer.

The 45-year-old has amassed a vast haul of trophies over spells with Bayern and Barcelona, who he guided to two Champions League triumphs.

And Khaldoon told City TV: "I'm absolutely excited about Pep joining our team.

"I consider Pep to be one of the best, if not the best, managers today in football.

"We are getting a manager that epitomises, in my view, passion and commitment.

"He's a winner, he's a proven winner, he has won professionally in every team he has coached, his record at Bayern Munich, his record at Barcelona, I think speaks for itself.

"The trophies he's won…every single club competition out there, from the Champions League to La Liga to the Bundesliga, to the respective cups.

"We are getting a proven winner, we are getting a passionate man, we are getting someone who I think will be an incredible asset to Manchester City.

"And I have no doubt that he will transform our team to a whole new level."

Guardiola does not officially start work at City until next month, but he met Khaldoon in Abu Dhabi earlier this week and has also made two visits over the last few days to see the club's facilities in Manchester - their training ground and their Etihad Stadium home.

Guardiola is succeeding Manuel Pellegrini, under whom City won silverware three times in a three-year tenure.

The Chilean steered the Blues to the Premier League title in his first season in charge, plus the League Cup, which was collected again last term after a trophyless 2014-15.

The season just finished also saw City reach the Champions League semi-finals for the first time, and they came fourth in the Premier League.

Khaldoon has thanked Pellegrini and his team for their efforts but also stressed that the last year in particular was a disappointing one overall.

"Let's be objective first," the chairman said.

"Over three years we won our second Premier League title in the history of the club, we've won two League Cups under Manuel, we've gone to the semi-finals of the Champions League for the first time, we've scored - I think - an incredible amount of goals.

"So there are a lot of achievements that have been made in those three years that I think we all have to recognise…Manuel and the team around him, we should thank them and be grateful for these achievements.

"At the same time, I think we also can't hide the disappointment, particularly this year.

"I think all of us came with high expectations for this season, and I think, at the end of the day, I cannot hide the disappointment of myself, obviously (club owner) Sheikh Mansour, I know the fans of the club, and I'm sure the entire team."

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