Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini said he has no grudge to bear against former club Real Madrid ahead of their Champions League semi-final clash.
But Pellegrini admitted he was not happy with being sacked by the La Liga club after just one season at the helm in 2010.
Pellegrini was plucked from Villarreal to lead a Madrid side that had just acquired Cristiano Ronaldo for a world record fee from Manchester United but could only finish second behind Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona at the end of the 2009-10 season.
“I was upset at the time because we played so well and did not win the title,” the Chilean said as City prepare to host Madrid at the Etihad Stadium in Tuesday’s first leg.
“We scored more than a hundred goals and when we played at Barcelona we did not deserve to lose but were beaten 1-0 through an unbelievable goal by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
“I was not so upset about getting the sack because I knew that was going to happen all along. I realised after just a few games that I would only be getting one season.
“Even winning the title would not have saved me at Real Madrid and I would not have wanted to stay in any case under the conditions they imposed.
“I am still happy to have had the honour of managing Real Madrid, regardless of how it turned out. What happened six years ago does not really matter now.
“I would not like anyone to think I am still wounded and I do not wish to appear bitter.”
After the draw pitted Pellegrini against his old side, the 62-year-old said he was relieved to have avoided Bayern Munich and Atletico Madrid but said he would back his side in against any of the final four.
“I did not want Bayern Munich or Atletico Madrid at the semi-final stage but, if the draw had given us Atletico, I would have said I didn’t want to play against Bayern or Real Madrid,” he explained.
“The truth is that when you reach the last four you must have confidence and trust in your own ability. You can be lucky with your opponents in earlier rounds but in the semi-final it doesn’t really matter which team you get. You know it is going to be very difficult.”