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 By Ben Gladwell

Pep Guardiola: Bayern Munich spell with no UCL win is not a failure

Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola insists he would not judge his time at the Bundesliga club as a failure if he does not win the Champions League this season.

The Catalan, who departs for Manchester City in the summer, has led Bayern to back-to-back Bundesliga titles, as well as to the DFB Pokal, the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.

The Champions League is lacking from that list and after falling at the semifinal stage in each of the past two seasons, the pressure is mounting for him to win it this term.

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Guardiola does not feel that pressure, however, saying he will leave Munich in the summer having gained a great deal, even if that one major European trophy does not arrive.

"I'm not dependent on winning the Champions League," he said at a news conference in Turin ahead of Bayern's first leg with Juventus in the round of 32 on Wednesday. "Of course I want to win it, but thanks to Bayern I now speak German, my daughter speaks German, I've worked at a fantastic club and learnt a new culture.

"Now I'll move to another country simply for that reason. I will aim to win as many games as possible, but if I don't win I might be incomplete in the eyes of some people. But if you ask how my time at Bayern was then I would say it was only positive."

Bayern have an eight-point advantage at the top of the Bundesliga table and Guardiola is on course to make it a hat trick of league titles, but he admits being successful in Europe is never easy.

Nothing would make Bayern boss Pep Guardiola happier than an injury-free 90 minutes vs. Darmstadt, especially with Champions League action around the corner.
Pep Guardiola has yet to win the Champions League with Bayern Munich.

"We tried in these two years, but in the first semifinal we were beaten by Real Madrid in the first 45 minutes because they were stronger than us, then we were not prepared as a team for the last one," he said. "Maybe we had eight or 10 players out and then it's almost impossible to beat Barcelona.

"People sometimes forget there's not only Juve, Bayern or Barcelona -- there are many good teams with good coaches, all aiming for the same result. Some do it and some don't, but it's how you do it which matters. I'll then leave it up to the fans, club and journalists to say whatever they think."

The Catalan concedes Bayern will be up against it when they face Juve, given their recent injury problems.

"Yes we have problems, but what can we do?" he said. "We hardly have any players. We don't have any central defenders and this is the way it is.

"We'll try to play well and score a few goals, which won't be easy because they have not been conceding, but we want to take the tie back to Munich with a chance of progressing. You can rest assured that we want to try to play a good game."

Bayern captain Philipp Lahm was also setting the scene for a potential defeat in Turin, even if he rated the chances of progressing as 50-50.

"We always go out to win," he said. "Maybe you are happy with a draw in the end, but we always go out to win. Always. In the back of your mind, though, you do have to remember there are another 90 minutes.

"If you lose, you still have the chance and the time to turn it around. That is in our heads, and that is good, but we go out to win games and get the best result for the return."

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