|Will Pep Guardiola finally win the Champions League as Manchester City manager this year? AFP Photo|
I’ve never really been a believer in the occult. Supernatural, mystical, or magical beliefs are not exactly my bag.
And despite bearing an uncanny resemblance to him when I was younger, I don’t think I’ve seen a Harry Potter movie all the way through.
That said, I’m not ruling out any possibilities that there may be some truth in it all, as I’ve no evidence to the contrary.
But if Manchester City win the Champions League this season, I may well be persuaded to become a believer, not a doubter.
Europe’s top trophy has always been what Pep Guardiola has desired most, especially as manager of Manchester City.
He won it while in charge at Barcelona, twice in fact. But never succeeded during his time at Bayern Munich, and so far, it’s eluded him at Man City.
He’s come close, losing the final to Chelsea in 2021 and knocked out in the semis last season against Real Madrid in the dying minutes.
You could almost say he’s been cursed, and guess what? It turns out he was.
Back in 2018, Pep had a pretty high-profile fall out with former City star Yaya Toure.
At the time, Toure’s agent Dimitri Seluk, warned Pep Guardiola of an 'African curse' following his client's sensational accusation that the Manchester City manager does not like picking African footballers.
I’m sure the Spaniard at the time didn’t give it much thought, but maybe as the years passed, and Pep failed over and over again to win his Holy Grail of football trophies, it’s been at the back of his mind.
But good news Pep.
Seluk this week has said the curse he once called to be placed on Pep Guardiola by 'African shamans' to stop the manager from winning the Champions League has been lifted.
Now, maybe this could be because after their 1-1 draw away in Madrid in the first leg of the semi-final City are favourites to reach the final, and if they do, favourites to lift the trophy.
Seluk may just be hedging his bets, knowing that chance are, it will be City crowned European champions on June 11 at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.
Or perhaps Pep was cursed, and those African shamans did place a spell on him to prevent City winning the Champions League for the past five years.
Either way, I think this year will be the year Pep finally does get his hands on the trophy as manager of Manchester City, which in my mind will make him possibly the greatest manager the game has ever seen, curse or no curse. VNS