Pep Guardiola says the German media are out to “kill” him after Bayern Munich’s defeat to Atletico Madrid in their Champions League semi-final first leg, adding: “I have one more bullet left.”
Guardiola took charge of Bayern in 2013 but despite back-to-back Bundesliga successes, he has been unable to replicate predecessor Jupp Heynckes’ success on the European stage.
Bayern suffered semi-final exits to Real Madrid and Barcelona during Guardiola’s first two seasons, and they face a tricky task reaching the final this year after losing 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in the first leg of this season’s semi-final.
Guardiola has come under criticism in Germany, not least for his decision to leave Thomas Muller out of his starting XI, but he says it is too early to write him or Bayern off just yet.
“I am not dead. After this match, everybody ‘killed’ me. But I am still here. I have one more bullet left,” Guardiola said.
Bayern are currently seven points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and victory over fifth-placed Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday will secure a fourth consecutive domestic title.
Guardiola was happy to defend his side’s performance against Atletico, saying he set out to avoid a repeat of last season’s 3-0 semi-final defeat to Barcelona.
“I am happy. Sorry, guys. I am the coach of FC Bayern Munich. I fight for everything, for this outstanding club,” he said. “You cannot imagine how satisfied I was with the final 75 minutes at Madrid.
“I wanted to keep the door open for the second leg. I did not want a repeat of what happened at Barcelona.”
He also confronted criticism of his decision to omit Germany international Muller, from the stating XI.
“I know how special Thomas Muller is at this club. The reason [for not playing him] was tactics,” he said. “I only wanted to play with one forward. I wanted more control.
“I love Thomas Muller. He has a ‘nose,’ a special feeling. I love to play with Thomas Muller.”