Begiristain the key to Guardiola's longevity at Man City

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Pep Guardiola said the presence of director of football Txiki Begiristain is the reason he is into his sixth season with the English champions and has extended his deal to 2023.

City's structure off the field has been brought back into the focus by the chaos at rivals Manchester United, where outgoing executive vice chairman Ed Woodward may prolong his stay at Old Trafford to oversee a fifth managerial appointment in eight years.

Guardiola took a year out of the game after being burned out by four years as coach of his boyhood club Barcelona and stayed just three seasons with German giants Bayern Munich.

Many expected a similar stint at City, who had prepared the groundwork to attract Guardiola by appointing his former Barcelona colleagues Begiristain and CEO Ferran Soriano to senior positions at the club.

Together they have built an empire at the Etihad, winning three Premier League titles, one FA Cup and four League Cups.

"One of the reason why I extended my contract is because Txiki is here. I am now 50, we met each other when I was 19-years-old," said Guardiola on Tuesday.

"So since then, we've been close friends and we work together incredibly well. When we are winning, we try to analyse, why we are winning? When we lose, why are we losing? No one judges the other one for good or bad. I've never been judged on a result. Both of you work for the best for this club.

"He is the most humble person I met. He never goes to the media, he's always behind the scenes. You don't find many of these types of people in this world when the egos are always there. I put that example for myself.

"So he's an exception. What he has done in Barcelona, creating one of the best teams of all-time, and how he has been working here for these years...

"He always gives the credit for the players, of course for the managers, for the chairman, for the CEO, and always is there so that's why it's a pleasure. We're with him because I can do my job."

City can secure a place in the Champions League last 16 with just a point at home to Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday, while victory over the star-studded French side would guarantee top spot in Group A.

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino has been linked with the vacant managerial post at United following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's sacking on Sunday.

Pochettino is on course to win the first league title of his managerial career with PSG who are currently 11 points clear at the top of Ligue 1.

But Guardiola said his record of not winning trophies at Espanyol, Southampton and Tottenham should not overshadow the excellent job the Argentine did for all three clubs.

"You can be a top manager and not win titles. The managers that have the chance to win the titles are at top, top clubs with good investments and exceptional players. Otherwise, for managers, it is impossible to win," added Guardiola.

"That doesn't mean the managers in the Championship or not in the top six of the Premier League cannot be excellent managers in tactics, communication, leading. It's not necessary to win titles."

kca/bsp

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