Pep Guardiola has conveyed his satisfaction with Manchester City’s involvement in the Club World Cup, despite the increasing stress on their performance in domestic competitions. The team, who achieved a treble victory, will journey to Saudi Arabia following a disappointing 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace in the Premier League, where they let go of a two-goal advantage. Their qualification for the tournament was secured after their triumph over Inter Milan in the UEFA Champions League final back in June, granting them direct access to the semi-finals. They will now face Urawa Reds, a Japanese team, in the semi-final clash, which will be live-streamed on TNT Sports and discovery+. The final will occur after a three-day delay.
Due to their involvement in the Club World Cup, City’s scheduled league game against Brentford has been postponed. Despite the limited time for recovery, Guardiola has expressed no concerns about the team’s participation in the tournament and their subsequent match against Everton on December 27, as he believes winning the Champions League is a prerequisite for competing in such events. He expressed his satisfaction and enthusiasm to participate, acknowledging the current schedule and results, and accepting them as they are. City’s recent performances in the Premier League have been disappointing, as they have only managed to win one out of their last six matches. The match against Palace ended in a 2-2 draw, which even caused some fans to express their dissatisfaction by booing at the end. However, despite these setbacks, City has successfully qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League. In order to regain their winning momentum and secure their fourth trophy of 2023, Guardiola is hopeful that participating in the Club World Cup will be beneficial for his team. He expressed his excitement about playing in this tournament, which they have never been a part of before. Guardiola emphasized the importance of being present and experiencing the atmosphere, as well as giving their best performance against Urawa in order to earn their place in the final. He acknowledged that it is a great achievement for the team to be in this position, considering that in the past, it was something they could not even imagine. The Club World Cup is already underway, and Urawa Reds, the semi-final rivals of City, have earned their spot in the final four by overcoming Mexican team Leon. Meanwhile, Fluminense, led by interim coach Fernando Diniz and champions of the Copa Libertadores, will confront Al Ittihad in the other semi-final encounter. Al Ittihad began with a convincing 3-0 victory over New Zealand’s Auckland City but later experienced a 3-1 loss against Egyptian side Al Ahly.