City were placed in a tricky-looking group with Shakhtar Donetsk, Dutch champions Feyenoord and Napoli, with the pressure on the Spanish coach to finally make headway in Europe’s elite competition with the Sky Blues.
And the former Barcelona and Bayern coach dismissed anybody labelling the draw straightforward by insisting that the Italian side are amongst the top three in European football at the moment.
Napoli finished third in Serie A last season, five points behind eventual champions Juventus, but speaking to the media today via Sky Sports, Guardiola said: “When the third pot is Napoli – the best team in the pot – it is complicated. In the Champions League we can expect Pots 1 and 2 will be strong, but today all the teams are strong.
We’re going to face the team who played the best football in Italy. I’m not talking about winning – I like to watch the teams who want to play.
“In Italy, where the culture is defensive in the box, they play 40m in front a bit like Arrigo Sacchi did once.
“With the ball they are fantastic.
“For me, and it’s just my opinion, they are one of the three best teams right now in Europe playing football.
You’d imagine Guardiola, begrudgingly, at least, would have Real Madrid in his top three teams – but who else?
What do you think of his comments, and City’s chances in Europe this season?