Pep Guardiola has told Sky Sports that Manchester City could be his toughest managerial challenge yet.
Having previously inherited Barcelona and Bayern Munich teams that included Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta, Manuel Neuer, Philipp Lahm and Thomas Muller, Guardiola thinks it could take some time before he is able to put together a squad he is completely happy with.
“It will take a longer time to put the team out I want,” he said. “The other clubs, for many other reasons, were a little bit closer. Here it will take more time.
“That’s what I like. It is the first time in my career as a manager when I feel now is the moment. The other ones I was so lucky as a manager.
“Now is the first time I want to help the team, not just in terms of titles — they are important — but the way we play so people say, ‘Pep could do that again in a team in England like Manchester City.'”
Guardiola, who has said he feels unfairly judged because of his success at Barcelona and Bayern, added that he wants to stay at City for a long time and transform them into winners on the level of his former clubs.
He added: “I love this club and I want to be here for a long, long time. Many, many times how City do it was sooner than Barcelona and Bayern Munich so I am really impressed.
“But in other terms we have something that means we need more time. We need more experience to become a stable team.
“It’s like the England national team. I cannot deny the quality for all the English players playing for Gareth Southgate. They are top.
“But they must achieve that level, arrive there and win. In that moment the media, the people, the players themselves, they will believe they are able to play against Germany in a big competition — not in a friendly game — against Spain, Italy and win.
“You need to be there and to make that process. At Manchester City it’s like this. You have to make that process and when you arrive in a semifinal, play like a contender, play like you are able to win.
“But you have to be there and win. Until we make the gap it will always be there.”