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Man City not in same bracket as Barca, Madrid and Bayern, says Guardiola

7:22 AM GMT+8 09/03/2019
Pep Guardiola Manchester City 2018-19
The history of other clubs puts them on a higher level than the reigning Premier League champions, says their manager

Manchester City cannot be considered to be a club of equal stature to Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but Pep Guardiola feels they are making steps in the right direction.

Since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour in 2008, City have established themselves as one of the leading forces in the Premier League, winning the title on three occasions.

For the past three seasons they have been managed by one of the greatest coaches in the modern era in Guardiola.

The Catalan led Barca to the treble in 2008-09 and instilled a brand of football that won admirers across the world, including at Bayern, where he won three Bundesliga titles in as many seasons before heading to City.

Guardiola believes sustained success is needed for City to enter the same bracket as Europe's premier clubs and he is confident they are on the right path.

"The last decade, one of the teams to have grown the most is Manchester City. Not just in our period [together], but over the last decade," he said.

"To compare with Barca, we are far away in terms of history and legacy. We are far because we are one decade. But what we do is getting better and better.

"My humble opinion is we are making small, small steps and every time getting better. We made back-to-back [EFL Cup] titles, we won 100 points, we are fighting for all the titles.

"In the next years still being there, those are the best steps. [When you] compare with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, they have an incredible history of results. We are not there.

"The best way [to describe it] is that we feel far, far away from these clubs. That's the best way. At Barcelona and Munich I didn't go to work thinking about a legacy, it just happens.

"If we'll be remembered we'll see. We'll have to win more and more through the years. They are a step forward in many terms."

City are in pole position to become the first team to win successive Premier League titles since Manchester United in 2008-09, sitting one point clear of Liverpool at the summit with nine games remaining.

Jurgen Klopp's side were seven points ahead in January but drawing four of their past six games has seen a significant shift in the balance.

Next up for Manchester City is a meeting with Watford before the club returns the Champions League play against Schalke.

Guardiola's side picked up a 3-2 win in Germany in the opening leg, giving the English team an advantage heading back to the Etihad.