Pep Guardiola has slammed rivals Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho and declared Manchester City’s legal win over UEFA a “great day for football”.
CAS had overturned UEFA’s original decision to ban Man City from the European competition for two seasons over alleged breaches of the Financial Fair Play regulations.
Tottenham’s Jose Mourinho had also questioned why City had been fined €10million, for not co-operating with UEFA, if they were innocent.
But in a furious outburst, Guardiola challenged critics to apologise to City and also told them to complain to their “faces” rather than use legal avenues.
Guardiola said: “Jose and all the managers should know that we were damaged. We should be apologised to. Like I said many times, if we did something wrong, we will accept absolutely UEFA’s decision.
“But we don’t expect Liverpool or Tottenham or Arsenal or Chelsea or Wolves or all the clubs are going to defend (us) but we can defend ourselves.
“We have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct, is right and three independent judges said this.
- Mesut Ozil hits back at Arteta as German says he’s ready to play
- Jurgen Klopp: lifting Man City’s ban not a good day for football
- Mourinho hits out at ‘disgraceful decision’ to overturn Man City ban
“So yesterday was a good day for football because we play with the same rules for Financial Fair Play as all the clubs in Europe, all of them.
“We were damaged. People said we cheated we’re lying, many, many times; the presumption of innocence was not there. And, after, when it happened and it was right, of course we are incredibly happy because we can again defend what we have done on the pitch.”
But, while saying he still respected the duo, Guardiola seemed less forgiving of Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp.
He said: “They are just the opinions of Jurgen and Jose but I tell Jose and Jurgen, today was a good day for football, a very good day. It was clear what happened and that’s nice.
“I have a long history and respect, not just for the manager of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, for all managers, in the media, on and off the pitch. I don’t expect they are going to defend my club but I wanted to defend my club.”
Guardiola continued: “I would like like to say to these kind of people, look in our eyes and if you want to say something, say it face to face.
“And go on the pitch, where we have to play as rivals, and if you beat us, don’t doubt it, we will shake hands and we’ll congratulate them.
“But they lost off the pitch. They have to go on the pitch and try to beat us, like the sportsmen we are.
“But we can defend ourselves, I guess. Yesterday was a great day for football, not a bad day for football, because they showed that we played by the same rules as all the clubs, all the elite clubs in the Premier League and Europe.”