Pep's 'African curse' story resurfaces

World News

Following Manchester City's elimination from the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Real Madrid, the story about Pep Guardiola having an "African curse" has once again resurfaced.

City seemed poised for back-to-back UCL final appearances on Wednesday night when they took the lead in the 73rd minute of the second leg of their semi-final against Los Blancos through a Riyad Mahrez strike, which gave the English giants a 5-3 aggregate lead at the time. 

Here are the eight coaches who've won the most Champions League titles, including Guardiola, per The Sporting News

However, things took a sharp turn in the 90th minute when Real substitute Rodrygo netted a goal before adding another just a minute later to take the tie to extra-time in dramatic fashion.

The comeback was completed when Karim Benzema converted a 95th-minute penalty, which proved to be the winner as Los Blancos booked their place in the competition's final against Liverpool on 28 May.

Some have since attributed the Citizens' capitulation to a myth centred around their manager, who once again failed to lead his charges to the elusive Champions League title, a tournament he has not won in 11 years.

In 2018, Yaya Toure's former agent Dimitri Seluk slammed the Spanish boss for benching the former Ivory Coast international during the player's final year at the Manchester club, going as far as saying that the ex-FC Barcelona coach had angered all Africans with his actions, and suggesting that a UCL curse has been placed on him as a result.

"He [Guardiola] turned all Africa against himself, many African fans turned away from Manchester City," Seluk said at the time, per SPORTbible.

"And I'm sure that many African shamans in the future will not allow Guardiola to win the Champions League.

Read: Benzema equals Ronaldo UCL record with dramatic late winner

"This will be for Guardiola an African curse. Life will show whether I am right or not.

"The fact that Guardiola ended Yaya's career in Manchester City is not even a mistake, but a crime."

City will now turn their focus to the last four games of the Premier League season in a bid to defend their league title, with Liverpool just one point behind them.

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