Pep Guardiola hit back at criticism over Manchester City's mentality in the wake of their Champions League exit
Pep Guardiola hit back at criticism over Manchester City’s mentality in the wake of their Champions League exit (Getty)

Pep Guardiola has hit back at former Manchester United duo Patrice Evra and Dimitar Berbatov over their criticism of Manchester City’s mentality in the wake of their Champions League exit last week.

City missed out on a place in the Champions League final against Liverpool following Real Madrid’s dramatic comeback at the Bernabeu.

Following City’s exit in Europe, Evra accused Guardiola of not wanting strong personailities in his dressing room.

‘Manchester City needs leaders, but Guardiola doesn’t want leaders,’ Evra claimed. ‘He doesn’t want personality. He’s the leader. That’s why when they’re in trouble they don’t want to. They don’t have anyone on the pitch to help them.’

Berbatov, meanwhile, likened City’s elimination against Madrid to how a ‘small club’ would react under pressure.

‘If a small team, who don’t have that much talent and class concede two goals at the end of the game, we’ll say it’s because they are a small team with a small mindset and with no winning mentality,’ Berbatov said.

Dimitar Berbatov accused Man City of acting like a 'small club' in their defeat to Real Madrid
Dimitar Berbatov accused Man City of acting like a ‘small club’ in their defeat to Real Madrid (REX/Shutterstock)

But when asked about the criticism of City’s mentality after their defeat to Madrid, Guardiola took the opportunity to remind Evra and Berbatov of when he guided Barcelona to victory over Manchester United in the Champions League final in 2011.

‘The answer is so easy, it’s the same character and personality that we lost in Madrid in the last few minutes, the same ones,’ said Guardiola.

‘Like the specialist former players like Berbatov, Seedorf and Patrice Evra, these type of people that they were there.

‘When I play against them I didn’t see this kind of personality when we [Barcelona] destroyed them in the Champions League final against United. It’s the same character and personality.

‘You cannot have personality because we concede two goals in one minute [but] when we had two chances to score and we don’t have personality. After the last four games we score 23 goals we have incredible personality.

‘I’m sorry but I completely disagree about this. Personality is what we have done in the last five years, every three days. Maybe Liverpool win all four titles, maybe they win just one, but you say they don’t have personality, character, they didn’t do an incredible season? Even when they lost the Premier League by one or two points against us, they had a bad season? They don’t have character? Of course they do.

‘Sometimes football happens. You cannot control it, emotion, many things. When we are constantly arriving in latter stages, semi-finals, finals last 4-5 years. This is incredible, because we arrive until the end, a lot of games, go through, this is the most important.’

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