Pep Guardiola admits Manchester City need to win Champions League to be considered one of the best

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Pep Guardiola has accepted the challenge of winning an elusive Champions League trophy with Manchester City.

The Spaniard defended the Premier League crown after a photo-finish of a title race and completed a domestic treble by picking up the FA Cup and the League Cup. But his poor run in Europe with City has always drawn criticism.

In the last two seasons, City have failed to breach past the quarter-final stage of the tournament, with first Liverpool and then Tottenham progressing at their expense.

In his season wrap-up interview, Guardiola admitted that his side must accept the challenge of winning the Champions League to be considered one of the best.

“Football always gives you another opportunity. People say until we win the Champions League, we can’t be considered one of the greatest. It’s OK, we accept the challenge,” he told City TV.

“A decade ago, no one could have considered this club could win the Premier League. Now the people start to talk about the Champions League. That’s a first step, that’s good.

“If it happens next season, it will be next season. With me or without me, with this group or with another group. Maybe one day it will happen. If it doesn’t happen – unlucky. But we’ll be trying to do it.”

“I’ve won many prizes by one inch,” added Guardiola. “And we lost this one [against Tottenham] by one inch.

“Right now, we are the happiest group in the world. At the same time, we are conscious that doing the same we could have lost the Premier League.

“I’ve won a Champions League semi-final with one shot on target in the second leg. And I’ve lost one with 30 shots on target – against the same team, Chelsea. You have to work to control as much as possible.”

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Eden Hazard joins Cristiano Ronaldo and Philippe Coutinho on list of most expensive transfers involving British clubs

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Cristiano Ronaldo

Eden Hazard’s move from Chelsea to Real Madrid for a fee that could reportedly rise to £150million represents the most expensive transfer ever involving an English club.

Here, we look at the top 10.

1. Eden Hazard, Chelsea to Real Madrid, 2019, £150million

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

2. Philippe Coutinho, Liverpool to Barcelona, 2018, £106.4m

PhilippeCoutinhoBarcaVillarreal (1)

3. Paul Pogba, Juventus to Manchester United, 2016, £89m

4. Gareth Bale, Tottenham to Real Madrid, 2013, £85.3m

0519 Gareth Bale

5. Cristiano Ronaldo, Manchester United to Real Madrid, 2009, £80m

Ronaldo of Real Madrid lifts The UEFA Champions League trophy

6. Romelu Lukaku, Everton to Manchester United, 2017, £75m

Lukaku

6. Virgil Van Dijk, Southampton to Liverpool, 2018, £75m

0303 Van Dijk Focus

8. Kepa Arrizabalaga, Athletic Bilbao to Chelsea, 2018, £72.1m

Kepa Arrizabalaga

9. Luis Suarez, Liverpool to Barcelona, 2014, £65m

Luis Suarez

10. Riyad Mahrez, Leicester to Manchester City, 2018, £60m

mahrez

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Chelsea lodge appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against FIFA transfer ban

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Chelsea have lodged an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the transfer ban issued by FIFA.

The game’s global governing body issued the sanction in February as punishment for Chelsea’s transfer of young foreign players.

“The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has registered an appeal filed by Chelsea Football Club Ltd (CFC) against the Federation Internationale de football Association (FIFA),” read a statement.

The ban prohibits Chelsea from signing players during the 2019 summer and January 2020 transfer windows.

The Europa League champions have taken their case to CAS after FIFA rejected their appeal.

“The appeal is directed against the FIFA Appeal Committee decision dated 11 April 2019 in which CFC was declared liable for violations of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and banned from registering new players, nationally and internationally, for two entire and consecutive registration periods,” the CAS statement read.

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