Barcelona and Real Madrid make all clubs 'tremble' – Guardiola addresses Sterling speculation

By Sports Desk February 21, 2020

Pep Guardiola says any club would "tremble" if Real Madrid or Barcelona enquired about one of their star players, amid speculation linking Raheem Sterling with Los Blancos.

In an interview with Spanish publication AS on Friday, City forward Sterling spoke of his admiration for Madrid following rumours of a potential move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

The England international was also pictured holding up the shirts of both City and Madrid, who meet in the Champions League last 16 next week.

In a news conference ahead of City's Premier League clash with third-placed Leicester City, Guardiola insisted he has no doubt over Sterling's commitment.

However, he conceded all clubs have to worry should Madrid or their LaLiga rivals Barcelona come calling.

"All the clubs have to know that when Real Madrid or Barcelona knock on the door, the other clubs must tremble, they will be a little bit in trouble," Guardiola told reporters.

"Barcelona and Madrid are maybe the strongest and most powerful teams in terms of history and how good they are. That is normal and I understand completely.

"But on the same point, you just see the commitment from Raheem, every single day when he arrives. He's never injured.

"His commitment in every game, offensively and defensively, so he's one of the best players in the world and it's normal that big clubs see his desire for the team.

"I don't know if Madrid or Barcelona called his agent, [but] I don't have any doubts about the commitment Raheem and the other ones have had from the first day to the last day."

Guardiola himself has been linked with leaving City after the club was handed a two-year ban from the Champions League by UEFA for a breach of Financial Fair Play (FFP) regulations.

With City in the process of lodging an appeal after denying UEFA's claims, Guardiola swiftly moved to dismiss reports of a potential exit and reiterated his commitment to City once more on Friday.

"My happiness. I'm looking for my happiness, that's the only thing I'm looking for," Guardiola said when asked if he would consider staying beyond the expiration of his current deal, which runs out at the end of next season.

"I'm working with exceptional players especially and I have the feeling that they follow us 100 per cent, knowing how it's not easy working with us and with me, but I'm happy.

"That is the only reason why, when I move on always it's because I am thinking I can be happier than the place that I was before. That is the only reason.

"We have got incredible owners and a good relationship, so I think it will not be a problem to understand both sides if we decide to stay three more years or stay in the time we are together."

Related items

  • Coronavirus: Taylor insists players not stupid over pay cuts, brands Hancock 'astonishing' Coronavirus: Taylor insists players not stupid over pay cuts, brands Hancock 'astonishing'

    Gordon Taylor insists Premier League players are not stupid in the row over pay cuts amid the coronavirus pandemic and described the intervention by health secretary Matt Hancock as "astonishing".

    Hancock last week urged top-flight players in England to do their part and doubled down on his comments in an interview on Sunday.

    Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville and Gary Lineker have been among the high-profile figures stating it is unfair for footballers to be singled out during the debate over salary reductions.

    Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) chief executive Taylor was shocked by Hancock and insists players are simply demanding clarification on where any money they sacrifice will go.

    His comments came after the PFA pointed out the loss of tax contributions that will occur if players agree with the Premier League's proposal for a 30 per cent pay cut.

    Taylor told the Telegraph: "I found it astonishing that Matt Hancock could come out like that when he's got his own issues with trying to get the necessary protective health equipment for our NHS workers and didn't have the tests in place either.

    "I think if they [the clubs] can't do that [provide details on where the money will go] and explain the position fully then they have every right to expect players to mistrust what is happening."

    On whether players were concerned about that point specifically, Taylor added: "Exactly that. They want the complete due diligence. 

    "They're not stupid. They've not just got their brains in their feet. They want to know the reasons for it and where it's going."

  • Rumour Has It: PSG expect Neymar & Mbappe to stay, Barca rebuffed by Inter, De Ligt wanted by Madrid Rumour Has It: PSG expect Neymar & Mbappe to stay, Barca rebuffed by Inter, De Ligt wanted by Madrid
  • On this day in sport: The Olympics are reborn, Messi and Bayern go goal crazy On this day in sport: The Olympics are reborn, Messi and Bayern go goal crazy

    There will be no Olympic Games in 2020, but 124 years ago saw the rebirth of the great sporting spectacle.

    Arsenal were swept aside by the brilliance of Lionel Messi in a thrilling Champions League game at Camp Nou, while Bayern Munich brought an end to Borussia Dortmund's hopes of dethroning them in the Bundesliga.

    Robert Parish set a record for the most NBA games appeared in, and Sri Lanka got their hands on the World Twenty20 trophy at the expense of India.

    We look back at some of the standout sporting moments that have happened on this day.

     

    1896 – The start of a new Olympic era

    The ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Games got back under way 1,500 years after they were outlawed by Roman Emperor Theodosius I in a bid to suppress paganism.

    Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin was pivotal to their revival, spearheading the formation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894 and subsequently the first Games of the modern era, which were held in Athens.

    A crowd of 60,000 people turned up for the start of a spectacle that saw 280 participants from 13 nations take part in 43 events.

     

    1996 – 'The Chief' makes NBA history

    In a meeting between the Charlotte Hornets and the Cleveland Cavaliers, towering center Parish played his 1,561st NBA game to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and set a new record.

    He had 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the 93-89 win over the Cavaliers.

    Parish made his name with the Boston Celtics, with whom he won three NBA championships, and had made 1,611 appearances across 21 seasons when he called it quits after claiming his third ring with the Chicago Bulls in 1997.

     

    2010 – Messi fires against Gunners

    Arsenal came back from 2-0 down to draw the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona 2-2, and Nicklas Bendtner put the Gunners ahead in the return match at Camp Nou.

    However, Messi flashed a stunning effort past Manuel Almunia two minutes later and, after slotting home a pass from Pedro, he had a hat-trick before the break thanks to a brilliant chip over the Arsenal goalkeeper.

    An excellent solo effort sealed a 4-1 triumph in the 88th minute that sent Barca through to a semi-final with Jose Mourinho's Inter, who stunned them at Camp Nou and went on to claim the treble.

     

    2014 – A T20 first for Sri Lanka

    Some excellent death bowling from Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara limited India to a below-par 130-4 in a thrilling World T20 final in Dhaka.

    Despite slipping to 65-3 in their chase, Sri Lanka surged to their first title by securing a resounding six-wicket victory with 13 balls remaining.

    Kumar Sangakkara made an unbeaten 52 in his final T20I and Thisara Perera blasted 23 off 14 deliveries, which included three sixes.

     

    2019 – Dortmund obliterated in Der Klassiker

    Bayern's chances of clinching a seventh straight Bundesliga title were in danger of being blown apart when Dortmund arrived at the Allianz Arena for the 28th round of matches with a two-point lead at the top, though their advantage had stood at nine points in December.

    The Bavarian giants made light work of Lucien Favre's side in a brutal display of supremacy, storming into a four-goal lead by half-time thanks to efforts from former Dortmund duo Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, as well as Javi Martinez and Serge Gnabry.

    Lewandowski tapped in a cross from Thomas Muller with a minute remaining to complete BVB's 5-0 humiliation, a result that ended their hopes of dethroning Bayern.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.