Pellegrini paved the way for me at Man City – Guardiola

Much was made about the way the club announced the Catalan as the Chilean's replacement, but the ex-Barcelona coach revealed he has only admiration for his predecessor's work

Pep Guardiola has thanked his predecessor Manuel Pellegrini for working to build up Manchester City prior to his arrival this summer.

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The Chilean spent three seasons in the dugout at the Etihad Stadium, leading the side to a Premier League triumph as well as their first ever Champions League semi-final appearance last term.

Pellegrini eventually paid the price for a lacklustre league campaign however, and Guardiola was confirmed as his replacement midway through the season in a move that was received badly.

However, Guardiola has revealed admiration for his work establishing the side as one of Europe's elite and says he intends to complete the 63-year-old's work.

"Last season we got to the semi-finals so credit to [former manager] Manuel [Pellegrini] for what he did in the past to help the people coming next," Guardiola told reporters before City's clash with Barcelona.

"We cannot forget that Manchester City was 35 years without competing in Europe [without winning a major trophy until the 2011 FA Cup] – 35 years is a long time.

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"You are important in Europe when you are there a lot of times and that is the target for the people who are here now.

"In the next five, six or seven years to be always there competing against the big clubs as best as possible and as much as possible. That is our target."

City romped to a 4-0 win over Borussia Monchengladbach in their opening Champions League group game this term but were forced to battle for a 3-3 draw at Celtic before facing Barcelona on Wednesday.

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"I know what they are going to do tomorrow," Guardiola said of his former side. "I know what I want to do. We are going to try and after we are going to see if we were able."