London: Manuel Pellegrini has slammed suggestions he will be motivated by revenge when Manchester City face his former club Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.
Pellegrini’s side were handed a daunting showdown with Real in yesterday’s draw after defeating Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday to reach the last four of Europe’s elite club competition for the first time.
City will host the 10-time European champions in the first leg on April 26 before heading to the Bernabeu for the return a week later.
Pellegrini was sacked by Real in 2010 after just one season and replaced by Jose Mourinho following early elimination from the Champions League and the disappointment of losing out on the La Liga title to Barcelona.
However, on Friday the 62-year-old insisted there will be no desire for retribution against his former employers. “No, it’s not an extra motivation. Always the motivation is to play the semi-final of the Champions League,” said Pellegrini, who will be replaced as City boss by Bayern Munich coach Pep Guardiola at the end of the season. “It’s a difficult draw. It didn’t matter which of the three teams we had to play, the three were difficult. “I think the options to continue are the same for the teams and we will expect to do a very good game against a big team.”
Champions League semi-finals
Apr 26: Man City vs Real, Apr 27: Atletico vs Bayern
May 3: Bayern vs Atletico, May 4: Real vs Man City