The Spanish tactician has vowed to keep tinkering with his line up ahead of a Champions League quarter-final meeting with Borussia Dortmund, insisting his players cannot be expected to play three games in a week without proper rest.
“They are human beings, they are not machines,” Guardiola told reporters. “I know the players, some of them are upset all the time because they want to play every day but this is not possible.
“To compete in all competitions in this year without spectators, in the shortest competition ever, (if) you don’t rotate you don’t compete in all competitions and you will not be in the position we are in now.
“Of course they could play, they have an incredible mentality but they need rest. UEFA and FIFA killed the players because it’s too much. We haven’t had one midweek off since we started, not even one.
“There is no player who can sustain (this), not just physically but mentally to be ready every day to compete against opponents to win the game. It’s impossible.
“I rotate I’m a genius, ‘well done Pep’ but when we lose and I rotate people say ‘why rotate? You have to play the players like normal’. But it’s unsustainable.
“The next game we are going to play fresh legs and against Leeds [United], more than ever, fresh legs.”