Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola passed on some simple advice to his players from his late mentor Johan Cruyff ahead of the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, away at Paris St Germain on Wednesday night: Enjoy yourselves.
"Enjoy the travel, the coffee in the terminal, the night and the dinner, watching the other semi-final, enjoy the press conference, the walk, the training," Guardiola told reporters on Tuesday while describing Cruyff's philosophy.
We are privileged to be one of the best four teams in Europe and we must enjoy it. Cruyff's idea was like this.
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Cruyff, who created Barcelona's "Dream Team" with players such as Guardiola, led them to their first European Cup in 1992.
Guardiola said he would not be changing their blueprint when playing Mauricio Pochettino's side.
"The best balance is to have the ball. If you have the ball all the time the balance is there," Guardiola said.
"They have a lot of weapons. They're used to playing teams who defend 90 minutes, they find a way. That's not the best way to defend against the team who have everything.
"The best way is to impose your game like we have for five years... We know the opponents. The way we enjoy to play is having the ball."
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Although Paris St Germain have knocked out Barcelona and holders Bayern Munich, coach Mauricio Pochettino said his team would keep their feet on the ground when they face City.
With all his best players at his disposal after Marquinhos and Marco Verratti made their return after missing most of the quarter-final clash against Bayern, PSG enter the tie full of confidence, but also with caution.
"I think City are one of the greatest teams in the world with the best coach and it will be as tough as against Bayern at least," Pochettino told a news conference on Tuesday.
"Tougher? We'll see. We're confident but despite all the theories the most important things will be the 180 minutes on the pitch."
PSG, one of the teams who declined to take part in the failed Super League, face a club who were one of the founding members of the project but none of that will matter at the Parc des Princes on Wednesday.
"For me it's a battle between two big clubs, PSG and City," said Pochettino, who added he had 'nothing' to take from 2019, when he led Tottenham Hotspur past City in the quarter-finals.
PSG had a reputation of chokers after memorable meltdowns in recent years, but they are now in the semi-finals for the second year in a row, having also reached the final against Bayern last year.
"The club has grown, we are now among the top four, five or six teams across the leagues," said Neymar, who despite not scoring produced a sterling performance in the return leg against Bayern.
"PSG now get the respect they deserve. We have all the qualities to put hour hands on the trophy."
Neymar added that he was 'the happiest' at PSG since he joined the club in 2017 from Barcelona.
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