Pep Guardiola accepts his Manchester City side must not only win the Champions League, but do it more than once to be regarded among the greats.
The City manager has no doubts about the brilliance of his team but, despite their near dominance of the Premier League in recent seasons, he feels they need European success to truly make their mark on history.
City are now strong favourites to win the Champions League for the first time this season after powering into next month’s final against Inter Milan with a crushing win over holders Real Madrid in midweek.
Guardiola said: “The team is really good but I agree with the media or when people say you have to lift Europe, and you have to lift it again, to be considered in the same type as ‘other’ teams.
“Those teams win in Europe, not just once, but many times. We have not.”
City have been the pre-eminent force in domestic football since Guardiola took charge at the Etihad Stadium in 2016 but they have endured a catalogue of near-misses in the Champions League.
The closest they have come to success is when they were beaten in the 2021 final by Chelsea.
Guardiola said: “The joy (of winning) is so nice. It is amazing being here. Nothing is going to change for us if we lift it, but if we want to be considered one of the best teams, we have to win the Champions League.
“My opinion is not going to change but to be in the books – the real books – we have to be there.”
Guardiola has made a huge impression on English football as a whole and raised standards in terms of results and style of play.
Yet despite steering his side towards a glorious treble this term, he remains modest about the scale of his own contribution.
“English football belongs to England,” he said. “Every manager has his own ideas but I didn’t change anything, honestly.”