Football

Maradona made football better, says Guardiola as City reach last 16

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola paid tribute to Diego Maradona's legacy to football, after seeing his side earn a place in the last 16 of the Champions League with a 1-0 win at Olympiakos yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Maradona, whose daughter Giannina was previously married to City striker Sergio Aguero, died at the age of 60 on Wednesday. Regarded as one of the greatest players ever, the pinnacle of Maradona's career came in guiding Argentina to win the 1986 World Cup.

"First of all, support for Sergio, because Diego was his son's grandfather," said Guardiola.

"There was a banner in Argentina one time I read years ago, it said: 'It doesn't matter what you have done with your life, it matters what you have done with our lives'.

"There are a few incredible players in all of history; he is one of them. For people of our generation, the World Cup in '86 in Mexico was something which made this sport better."

Aguero made a late appearance as a substitute in Piraeus and City missed the killer touch of their all-time top goalscorer, with a one-goal margin of victory scant reward for the visitors' dominance.

Guardiola made five changes to the side beaten 2-0 at Tottenham Hotspur last Saturday, which meant City are having their worst league start since the first few months of the club's Abu Dhabi-backed ownership.

Scoring goals has been their main problem in the English Premier League and the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Ilkay Guendogan and Bernardo Silva were all guilty of missing chances among City's 21 efforts on goal.

"We would love to do more, but one day it will come and will break everything," added Guardiola, whose side host Burnley in the EPL tomorrow. - AFP

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