Pep Guardiola said his Manchester City team will have to win the Champions League to be considered one of the greatest of all time.
Guardiola collected his fifth Premier League title in six years after Sunday’s 1-0 win over Chelsea at the Etihad Stadium, a feat he called “exceptional.”
It has started a debate about whether City have already earned a place among the best teams in history, but Guardiola said they will have to win the Champions League first.
“I could not imagine winning five in six years,” Guardiola told a news conference after lifting the trophy. “I have the feeling we’ve done something exceptional, but to be considered one of the greatest [teams] we have to win the Champions League, otherwise it’s not complete.”
City have the chance to win the Champions League for the first time when they play Internazionale in the final on June 10. They are also preparing for the FA Cup final against Manchester United as they plot a historic treble.
“The players have to celebrate, but it’s time to rest mentally for the finals, and we have to play two more games [in the Premier League] and try to be ready,” Guardiola added. “Now I have the feeling we are a little tired and it’s been a long road. There’s a tendency to think it’s done, but hopefully it can pass quickly.”
Amid the title celebrations, Guardiola also congratulated Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, his former assistant at City. Arsenal led the table by eight points in early April but were not able to keep pace with Guardiola’s team in the run-in as they reeled off 12 straight league wins in a row.
“With the relationship I have with Mikel, congratulations for what they’ve done,” Guardiola said. “He’s brought them back to what Arsenal was in the past. It’s a similar battle to Liverpool in previous seasons; they took us to our limits.”