City face the reigning European champions in the Spanish capital at the same stage as last season’s elimination when two stoppage-time goals by Rodrygo cancelled out the English team’s 5-3 aggregate lead to take the game into extra-time.
A Karim Benzema penalty five minutes into extra-time completed Madrid’s fightback and took them through to the final in Paris, where they defeated Liverpool to lift the European Cup for a record 14th time.
But while City midfielder Rodri said the tie would give he and his teammates the “option to have revenge,” manager Guardiola urged his players to focus solely on the game rather than what happened last season.
“It would be a huge mistake,” Guardiola said. “We are not here for revenge. What happened, happened. Always it happens in football because you deserve it.
“We did more than everything to reach the final but sometimes it’s not enough. The lesson we can learn is to get a good result, perform well and have the opportunity to reach the final in the second leg in Manchester.
“Last year was tough, but we had an exceptional first game in Manchester and a really good game here. But it was not enough, you congratulate the opponent, accept it and now, one year later, we are here again.
“It’s just another opportunity. One day we will get to the final and win it. It didn’t happen last season as they [Madrid] know what they have to do in this competition.”
When the Abu Dhabi-owned team hired Guardiola in 2016, it was made clear that the man who won two Champions Leagues with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011 was expected to deliver City’s first European Cup.
Seven years on from his appointment, City have just one losing appearance in the final — against Chelsea in 2021 — to show for their huge investment in Guardiola and his squad.
But Guardiola said that he is under no illusions that the club’s owners are determined to win the Champions League.
“I would say seven years ago, we wanted to win and the year after, we want it definitely,” Guardiola added. “It was the same last season and in the final against Chelsea.
“Here we are again, but being stable is the most important thing. Real Madrid, Liverpool, all the time they are there, but I’m a Barcelona fan and they spent a lot of time trying to win before they did in 1992.
“So it’s important to be stable, get better every season. We are the same players, same manager, but I had the feeling after the first Premier League title that the target was the Champions League.
“It’s normal if you don’t have a trophy you want it, but we are going to try to do a good attempt.
“Last year, we went out in the last few minutes. That’s the margins of getting to a final. We have to play until the last minutes but that’s all, whatever you have lived it doesn’t mean it will not happen again.
“We have to do really well in two matches, otherwise it will be really difficult. We are ready to try again.”
‘Huge mistake’ to focus on revenge at Madrid – Guardiola