Pep Guardiola said City should be prepared to “suffer for 90 minutes” against the star-studded PSG side, which includes Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
City will face Ligue 1 on Tuesday evening in the second round of the new Champions League season, as the 2020/21 semi-finalists go head-to-head.
While Guardiola’s men triumphed in last season’s encounters to reach our first European final, winning 4-1 on aggregate, the City coach warned that these results would not have a major impact on the upcoming Group A matches against the French side, especially given their summer recruitment. .
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“What happened last season was last season. They were a great team, it was a difficult match and now they have Messi,” he said in a pre-match press conference.
“With this quality I don’t know what we can do, frankly!
“They are a great team. What can I say about the players they have: Marquinhos, I’m a huge fan of him. Hakimi, Paredes, Verratti, in particular, and the players up front – they can play wide, tight and medium. They combine well and have quality.
“Talent is unstoppable. We don’t pressure one player to stop the talent they have – we do it as a team. We know we’re going to suffer – this level demands this. They are very good and you have to be able to. Suffer for 90 minutes.
“Control is very difficult. We will try to defend well when we don’t have the ball and let them run when we get it.
“They are exceptional players – everyone knows it. They are all very good. They can combine and communicate. We are looking forward to the match and we will play.”
Having enjoyed so much success together at Barcelona, Guardiola is particularly familiar with Messi, hailing the six-time Ballon d’Or winner as an “exceptional” talent.
“This kind of player speaks for itself on the field,” he added. “I don’t have to add anything else.
“We were lucky to see him in 15 or 16 years of his career.
“Messi speaks for himself. What he has done in his career is more than exceptional and we hope that tomorrow he will play for the game.”
Hear all of Pep’s pre-match thoughts in the video above…