Cruyff's message inspiring Guardiola before City faces PSG

Cruyff's message inspiring Guardiola before City faces PSG

As Pep Guardiola heads into his first Champions League semifinal in five years, the Manchester City manager is thinking about the "mythical words" - as he described them - that were uttered nearly 30 years ago by his mentor, Johan Cruyff.

"Get out and enjoy it," was the message from Cruyff, the Barcelona coach at the time, to his players before they set off to Wembley Stadium for the 1992 European Cup final against Sampdoria.

Guardiola won't say the same words to his Manchester City players ahead of the first leg against Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday - "I'm not Johan Cruyff," he said - but the sentiment will be the same.

Enjoy the coffee in the airport terminal before the flight to Paris.

Enjoy the luxury of the hotel in the French capital.

Enjoy the walk with teammates on the day of the game.

Most of all, enjoy having the eyes of the world on you.

"Enjoy the responsibility, the pressure, enjoy the fact that maybe you won't live more this kind of situation," Guardiola said on Tuesday. "This is the elite. The top players enjoy the situations because they take responsibility. That's why the greatest clubs win these competitions because they play these competitions as a friendly game.

"That's what I want to see in my team and that's what we'll try to do."

It was a rousing, stirring performance from Guardiola in his pre-match news conference, the shackles seemingly off a manager and deep soccer thinker who often appears to carry the weight of the world on his shoulders. After all, he has finally led City beyond the quarterfinals of the competition, for the first time since he arrived in 2016.

"I have the sense of the work well done already," Guardiola said with a wide smile.

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