'Winner' Guardiola will raise City's level

LONDON • Pep Guardiola is a "proven winner" who will take Manchester City to a "whole new level", the Premier League club's chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak has said.

Guardiola, who left German champions Bayern Munich to take the reins at City, begins his three-year spell as manager at the Etihad next month.

The Spaniard is one of the most decorated coaches in the game following trophy-laden spells at Bayern and Barcelona, with whom he won the Champions League twice.

"I'm absolutely excited about Pep joining our team," Al Mubarak said in an interview posted on City's official website.

"He's a winner... his record at Bayern Munich, his record at Barcelona, I think speaks for itself.

A NEW CITY

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

KHALDOON AL MUBARAK, Manchester City chairman, on incoming manager Pep Guardiola.

"We are getting a proven winner, 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 reportedly met Al Mubarak in Abu Dhabi early last week and he has also paid visits to City's training ground and Etihad Stadium over the last few days.

The 45-year-old replaces Manuel Pellegrini, who guided the club to one Premier League title and two League Cups in his three years in charge.

Al Mubarak expressed disappointment at the Chilean's final season, despite the club finishing fourth in the league, reaching the Champions League semi-finals for the first time and winning the League Cup.

"There are a lot of achievements that have been made in those three years that I think we all have to recognise (and) we should thank (Pellegrini and his staff) and be grateful for these achievements," he said.

"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."

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 07, 2016, with the headline ''Winner' Guardiola will raise City's level'. Print Edition | Subscribe