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Pep Guardiola believes he will always be a “failure” in the Champions League, but his biggest regret relates to Hollywood actress Julia Roberts.
Guardiola’s Manchester City are into the quarter-finals of Europe’s elite club competition for a sixth straight season following an 8-1 aggregate win over RB Leipzig that included five Erling Haaland goals in the 7-0 second-leg success.
Tuesday’s performance was the kind that again establishes City as contenders, although they are yet to win the Champions League, losing in the final in 2021.
Guardiola’s last European title was as Barcelona coach, coming up short with both Bayern Munich and City, yet he explained how missing out on a visit from Pretty Woman star Roberts puts this disappointment into perspective.
“I’m a failure in the Champions League, I’m sorry,” he said. “I’m going to explain a secret. Whatever happens this year in the Champions League, even if we win this Champions League or win three in a row, I will be a failure.
“I have three idols in my life: Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Julia Roberts. These are my three idols. For obvious reasons, Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods deserve it, and Julia Roberts as well.
“Julia Roberts, years ago, came to Manchester. Not in the 1990s, when Alex Ferguson win titles, titles, titles and titles. She came in the period when we were better than United, these four or five years.
“And she went to visit Man United. She didn’t come to see us. So, even if I win the Champions League, it cannot compare to the fact Julia Roberts came to Manchester and did not come to see us. My idol.
“That’s why no matter what happens, even if I win the Champions League, it will not make up for the disappointment I had.”