Pep Guardiola says people want Manchester City to fail “more than ever” after the club won the fifth trophy of a remarkable year.
City return to domestic action at Everton on Wednesday having added the FIFA Club World Cup to their previous 2023 successes in the Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup and European Super Cup.
It is a unique achievement in English football, yet Guardiola won six trophies as Barcelona boss in 2009 when the Catalan club won La Liga, Copa del Rey, Spanish Super Cup, European Super Cup, Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup titles.
“It is a business you get credit when you win,” City manager Guardiola said ahead of his side’s trip to Goodison Park.
“You don’t win you are nothing, zero, what you have done in the past.
“As much as you win they want you to fail. More than ever. I felt than when we won the sextuple in Barcelona.
“It’s normal. They don’t want (us to win). In these 14-15 years what we have won, the titles, is unbelievable.
“People say ‘how good they play, how genius it is’. But they give credit just because we win. They don’t have to look further than that.”
City swept aside Brazilian opponents Fluminense 4-0 on Friday to win their first Club World Cup.
The victory crowned a successful five days in Saudi Arabia for City, with Guardiola saying the trip “created incredible team building and team spirit”.
But patchy domestic form over the past month – only one win in six games with four draws and a defeat – has left City off the Premier League pace, with Arsenal, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Tottenham filling the top four positions on Boxing Day.
Guardiola said: “In the moment you don’t win you are going to get doubts, absolutely everything.
“But that is what is nice. That is OK. Doubt again, we’ll see what happens.
“I said before when we played incredibly well against Crystal Palace, Liverpool and Tottenham and don’t win.
“It’s a real proof they don’t care the way we play. We played the best levels quite similar to these (past) eight years and we don’t win. It’s a ‘disaster and crisis’.
“Of course we have bad moments like Aston Villa, who were better. But what’s the problem?
“They can play better so we have to accept it and move forward. The reality is we are happy, but they are waiting for us around the corner (to fail).”
Guardiola spent Christmas with his family in Barcelona before returning to England.
Although he described himself as satisfied after lifting the Club World Cup – “I have a feeling that the job is done, we have everything” – he has quickly turned his thoughts to Everton and nothing else.
“Never at the start of the season when I arrive do I think how many titles we are going to win,” said Guardiola. “Never, never. It’s a horrible approach.
“Nothing else exists than Goodison Park. The greatest athletes forget as quick as possible the success. They celebrate it, but around the corner is another competition.”
City are hoping Rodri will be fit despite the Spain midfielder sustaining a heavy blow to his ankle against Fluminense, while doubts persist over the availability of Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne and Jeremy Doku.