Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, has said his team must be “exceptional” over the two legs of their Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.
Guardiola, speaking on Monday at the press conference ahead of the first leg, urged his players to stick to their regular style of football.
The Premier League champions welcome the Spanish side for the first leg of their last-four tie on Tuesday.
City got the better of Madrid when they met in the round of 16 in the competition in the 2019/2020 campaign, going through 4-2 on aggregate.
Guardiola expects the upcoming matches to be tight affairs this time around.
He said: “Listen, this competition we went through against Real Madrid but it was a tight two games.
We went out in the quarter finals in other years when it was tight too. The reality is in the last decade we are already there, fighting for the Champions League, the group stage go through and arrive in the semi-finals.
It’s nice to be in the process. Always I had the feeling in Barcelona and [at Bayern] Munich and now here, we arrived here [in the semi-finals] and I started to expect to be here.
For me, always I had the feeling right now we’ve been a few times, how nice it is, to be there with the best teams in the world and Europe.
Now we try to be ourselves and compete well. We’ll need two exceptional games to reach the final and hopefully we can do it.
It’s not necessary to say much much we respect Real Madrid, how good they are. That’s all. It’s an honour.
We want to get to the final and win the final, like Madrid, like Villarreal and like Liverpool. At the same time, I’ll never underestimate what we’ve done in being here. Never ever.”