Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola says he is incredibly happy after the club successfully overturned their ban from European club competitions.
On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) cleared City of committing “serious breaches” of Financial Fair Play regulations between 2012 and 2016.
Uefa had issued a two-year ban in February.
“We can play in the Champions League next season because what we have done is right, is proper,” Guardiola said.
Cas cleared City of “disguising equity funds as sponsorship contributions” and cut the club’s fine from 30m euros (£26.9m) to 10m euros (£9m).
“[I’m] incredibly happy for the decision which shows what all the people said about the club was not true and to defend on the pitch what we won on the pitch,” said the Spaniard.
“Like I said many times, if we did something wrong we would accept the decision of Uefa and Cas because we did something wrong. We can defend ourselves. We have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct.”
In this year’s competition, City face Real Madrid in their last-16 second leg at Etihad Stadium on 7 August. They lead 2-1 from the first leg and will face Juventus or Lyon if they progress.
When asked about his future with last season’s champions, Guardiola said he was “happy” but added “now is not the time” to discuss a new contract. His current deal runs until the end of the 2020-21 season.
“We have made a step forward in 10 years. We invested a lot of money, like a lot of clubs. We did it the right way. We have not been banned because we followed the FFP rules. If we hadn’t we would have been banned,” Guardiola said.
“Like we have done for the last few years, we are going to try and win on the pitch. The people cannot forget, we were damaged. We showed it was not true. That’s why people have to be happy or should at least accept it.”
“I would love to say, ‘look in our eyes and say something face to face and go out onto the pitch and play as rivals and after if you beat us, we will shake hands and congratulate you’.”