Manchester City’s manager, Pep Guardiola, has issued a stern warning to his team, cautioning them against slipping into arrogance as they prepare for the Champions League final against Inter Milan. Guardiola’s men are on the brink of making history by becoming only the second team to achieve a Premier League, Champions League, and FA Cup treble in a single season.
City enters the clash in Istanbul on Saturday as overwhelming favorites, having defeated Bayern Munich and Real Madrid convincingly on their path to the final. In contrast, Inter Milan finished a distant third in Serie A and faced relatively easier opponents, including Porto, Benfica, and AC Milan, en route to the final.
Despite City’s strong position, Guardiola has emphasized the importance of not underestimating their Italian opponents, who possess a richer European Cup heritage with three triumphs compared to City’s none. During City’s pre-match media day on Tuesday, Guardiola expressed his team’s confidence but acknowledged the challenges they will face, saying, “Of course we are confident, so optimistic, but at the same time, I cannot deny the difficulties and qualities of the opponents. I have never done it and especially in the final of the Champions League.”
Manchester City’s recent victory in the FA Cup final, where they defeated arch-rivals Manchester United 2-1, has provided them with valuable preparation for the Champions League final, according to Guardiola. He believes that this experience surpasses their previous appearance in the European showpiece two years ago, which ended in a 1-0 loss to Chelsea in Porto. Despite their exceptional form over the past four months, Guardiola emphasized that it will count for nothing if they do not perform on the day of the final at the Ataturk Stadium.
Guardiola emphasized the significance of how his team behaves during the entire 95 minutes of the final. He downplayed the importance of City’s history compared to Inter Milan’s, stating, “It’s not about history, for history they are better than us. It doesn’t matter what you do in the group stage, last 16, quarter-finals, Premier League, or FA Cup. It’s one single game, and you have to be better than the opponent.”
Manchester City’s only injury concern is Kyle Walker, who sat out training on Tuesday due to a back injury. However, Guardiola expects the England right-back to recover in time and be available for the final. Guardiola mentioned, “He has had a little bit of a disturbance in his back. Yesterday he was not good, today he was a little bit better, but we didn’t want to take any risks. We will see in the next days.”
- Guardiola praises players for shaking off hangovers as he details boozy celebrations
- Manchester United Aims to Stop Man City’s Pursuit of Historic Treble in FA Cup Final
- “A ruthless machine” – Jason Cundy makes huge claim about Manchester City
- “I’m only part of it” – Pep Guardiola on how much of Manchester City’s success is down to him
- Pep Guardiola Receives Good Luck Message from Sir Alex Ferguson Before Manchester City’s Historic Treble Victory