Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said that winning the Premier League is a more difficult accomplishment than winning the Champions League, as he gets set for what should be another exhilarating title fight.
City retained their Premier League crown by a single point last season, meaning they claimed every trophy they contended for over the course of the campaign except the Champions League.
They lost in the most dramatic fashion to Tottenham in the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition, compounding concerns that they lack the requisite mentality to succeed in knockout competition at the highest level. When title rivals Liverpool went all the way and lifted the trophy in Madrid, then, it sparked a sleep-inducing debate over which accomplishment was greater - the Premier League or the Champions League.
And, when asked if he would prioritise success in Europe this season in order to exorcise the one doubt remaining around his historic City side, then, Guardiola inadvertently gave his verdict on which is the superior accomplishment.
“Of course we have to win in Europe because it’s an important tournament and difficult to win," he said, as quoted by the Mirror. "But I am not going to go to the casino and gamble everything I have in my pocket on just seven games.
“I want to be happy for 11 months – and winning the Premier League makes me happy. Why am I going to wait until February for seven games and put everything on black?
“From my point of view, that’s too risky. To maintain the health and focus of the team, it always has to be the Premier League. The Premier League is always the most important thing, the stand-out competition, because it is every weekend.
“I think we will be closer to achieving in Europe when we have more Premier League titles. That is the right process at Manchester City.”
City take on Liverpool in the Community Shield on Sunday, in the first meeting between the two sides that will give us a preliminary indication as to where the title could end up come May.