During his first press conference as Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola admitted it was one of his dreams to play in the Premier League.
The Catalan went close to realising that personal ambition during his playing career.
After a two-year spell with Al-Ahli in Qatar, Guardiola attempted to seal a move to City in time for the 2005-06 campaign but wasn’t handed the terms he requested from Stuart Pearce.
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Pearce felt that Guardiola, then 34, wasn’t worth the risk of signing on a one-year contract.
The former world-class midfielder was offered a six-month deal but turned it down.
Guardiola: Pearce was right not to sign me
Reflecting on the decision, 11 years later, Guardiola admits Pearce made the correct decision.
"Stuart Pearce was right not to sign me. Definitely," Guardiola told the City website, per Goal. "I came here at 33-34 years old and in that time as a football player I was definitely a disaster. It was so intelligent not to pick me up.
"My dream in that time was to play in the Premier League. He offered me one half year - not a complete season.
"I had to wonder about family, I cannot live without them and in the end we decided not to sign.
"When you analyse in that moment my physical condition I think it was the right decision. Don't pick Pep up."
City finished 15th without Guardiola
Guardiola, had he signed for City, would have found himself competing with the likes of Joey Barton, Claudio Reyna and Stephen Ireland for a first-team place.
Despite a good start to the 2005-06 campaign - Pearce was named Manager of the Month for August - Manchester City ended up finishing the season in 15th place.
Pearce lasted another season before he was sacked in May 2007.
A year later and Guardiola would take the reins at Barcelona.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
Guardiola under pressure to win trophies
Guardiola now finds himself in charge of City and will be expected to help the club win the Premier League title in his debut season at the Etihad Stadium.
He will also be expected to deliver the club its first ever European Cup.
In three seasons with Bayern Munich, Guardiola failed to win the Champions League.
The 45-year-old will be eager to prove that he is capable of winning the biggest prize in club football with a team which doesn’t contain the likes of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and, of course, Lionel Messi.
How many trophies will Pep Guardiola help Manchester City win next season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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