The Manchester City boss, who turns 50 this month, has previously said that he does not want to have a long career because he has other priorities in life that he wants to follow. Pep Guardiola has confirmed that he is thinking of remaining in management for much longer than he initially intended.
But having recently extended his contract until the summer of 2023 at the Etihad Stadium, Guardiola now acknowledges that he still thinks that retirement is a long way off. “Experience helps you, especially the way I live my job,” said the Spaniard, who has won 29 major trophies in an illustrious managerial career that includes Barcelona and Bayern Munich stints. “Before, I thought I would retire soon. Now I think I will retire older,” he said. After three years at Barca and four at Bayern, Guardiola is now entering his fifth season at City, making him the longest period in management. He has won eight titles with the club, including two in the Premier League, and the club is aiming to get back into the title race after a poor start to the current season. “If you think about what can happen in January and February – the two games (in hand), we can lose those two games and anything can happen. “If you think about what can happen in January and February, the race this year is the most open in England. Every game in the Premier League is so tough and it’s best to be cool. The real Premier League, the people I spoke to before I landed here, said that everyone can lose to everyone. Up until now, I haven’t seen that. The Manchester United of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is emerging as a powerful challenger (Rui Vieira/PA) “In the Premier League, every game is so tough and it’s better to be calm. The real Premier League, the people I talked to before I landed here, said that anyone can lose to anyone. I haven’t seen that until now.Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United is emerging as a strong challenger (Rui Vieira/PA) ” This season’s challengers include arch-rivals Manchester United, who City will face in the Carabao Cup semifinals next week. In recent weeks, the side of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has rejuvenated, overcoming the Champions League elimination disappointment to prove itself in the domestic league. “Ole is happier than I am,” said Guardiola, whose preparations over the Christmas period were marred by five positive tests for Covid-19 in his players. Some unforgettable city strikes from down the years at Stamford Bridge! “But I’m not very concerned about United. I’m so concerned with what we need to do and what we can do with the players and the exceptional people we have in the backroom staff to move forward. “But I’m not so worried about United. I’m so worried with what we need to do and what we can do to move forward with the players and the outstanding people we have in the backroom staff. I wanted them to be there all the time from the moment I got here. Often it wasn’t realistic last season, particularly in the Premier League, but there it is. City will be at Stamford Bridge without the five players who tested positive – all of whom are now separated. Kyle Walker and Gabriel Jesus know two of them, but the other three – whose test results forced the postponement of Monday’s game at Everton – have not yet been identified.