Manchester City have “not done anything special” by winning the Champions League, Pep Guardiola said ahead of the launch of their title defence.
The Citizens became European champions for the first time last season, the jewel in the crown of a superb campaign where they claimed a historic Treble after also winning the Premier League and FA Cup.
Their bid to defend that title begins on Tuesday with the visit of Crvena Zvezda in their Group G opener, live on TNT Sports.
Guardiola, who won two Champions League titles in three years with Barcelona between 2009-2011, has challenged his side to achieve the extraordinary.
“It will be easier. The hardest to win is the first one,” Guardiola said.
“For our club to win the Champions League is incredible, but in perspective, how many won one Champions League? A lot.
“We haven’t done anything special with just one, but we are incredibly proud.”
Real Madrid are the only side to have successfully defended the title in the Champions League era, winning three in a row from 2015 to 2018.
City defeated Inter Milan 1-0 in the final in June after a run where they knocked out RB Leipzig, Bayern Munich and Real.
They will come up against Leipzig again this year in Group G, while also facing Young Boys.
Defender Kyle Walker echoed his manager’s sentiment and explained how the Spaniard is motivating the players to dust themselves down for a new campaign.
“The manager drew a diagram and had us at the bottom of the mountain and we have to climb it again,” said Walker.
“Going again is what separates good teams from great teams.”
Guardiola’s side have started the new campaign in flying form, winning their opening five Premier League games to go top of the table, two points clear of Tottenham, Liverpool and Arsenal.
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