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Pellegrini Defends European Record

  • Guardian, Friday, July 12, 2013 4:32 PM
Manchester City coach Manuel Pellegrini was forced to defend his record in Europe on Thursday, as reporters asked why City fans should get behind the Chilean given that he has never won a major European trophy. In his nine seasons in Europe with Villarreal, Real Madrid and Malaga, Pellegrini has only lifted the Intertoto Cup in 2004 with Villarreal, although he did take the Yellow Submarine to the UEFA Champions League semifinals in 2006.

"I won a lot of trophies in South America,” Pellegrini said when asked about his European record. “I think it is very difficult for Villarreal to win a title in Spain. It is very difficult for Villarreal to arrive in the quarterfinals, semifinal of the Champions League, it's very difficult to arrive with Villarreal in the second place of the league, 10 points from Barcelona. That's my work with Villarreal. To win the titles it's impossible.”

He added: "After, in Real Madrid with 96 points, we played a whole year against a great Barcelona with [Pep] Guardiola [as coach] but we couldn't win the title in just one year. I am sure if I could continue at Real Madrid we could win a lot of trophies.” Pellegrini was fired after just one season in charge at Los Blancos. “And Malaga is exactly the same as Villarreal,” he added. “You can't win the Champions League with Málaga or the [title]. But also it is very difficult to arrive with Malaga in the Champions League and to continue to the quarterfinal. So for me with the strong squad we have in Manchester I am sure we can win trophies." Pellegrini also confirmed that City would make more signings, following the combined $71 million outlay on Fernandinho and Jesus Navas.

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