Man City beats Inter Milan
Man City’s treble ‘Written in stars’ said by Guardiola as Man City beats Inter Milan 1-0 to win a first Champions League title, adding to the Premier League and FA Cup trophies they had already clinched this season.
“I’m tired, calm and satisfied. It’s so difficult to win,” said Guardiola, who also won the Treble with Barcelona. “It was written in the stars. It belongs to us.”
Midfielder Rodri’s 68th-minute strike just his second Champions League goal in 48 appearances was enough to see off Inter Milan at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium. “It’s emotional. A dream come true. All these guys around here waited I don’t know how many years,” Rodri said on interview.
“They deserve it, we deserve it. The last years we were so close. I just want to thank everyone. It wasn’t easy. What a team we faced, the way they defend and counter-attack. On the FA cup finals, Man city had a victory in the Man Utd over 2-1 as Illkay Gundogan double strikes on the game.
“We gave everything. Finals are like this. You can’t expect to play as well as always. Emotions and nerves are there. We competed like animals. It’s a dream. This moment will never happen again.”
Manchester City were appearing in their second Champions League final in three seasons, having lost to Chelsea in 2021. They become just the second English men’s team to win the Treble, following in the footsteps of city rivals Manchester United who achieved the feat in 1999.
Guardiola on the post-match interview
Pep Guardiola won the European Cup as a player for Barcelona in 1992 but said he did not realise what he had achieved until the day afterwards – and it will be a similar feeling after City’s success.
“Our chairman said ‘oh London is where next season’s final of the Champions League is’ and I won’t tell you my answer to him,” said Guardiola. “Now is time to celebrate. I am looking forward to Monday afternoon in Manchester on our coach and three trophies [as part of a victory parade].”
Guardiola joins United legend Sir Alex Ferguson as the only managers to win the Treble with an English side. “It is an honour for me to be alongside Sir Alex Ferguson. I got a message from him this morning and it is an honour,” added Guardiola.
“People say I have to win trebles every season. I am a good manager, but no. I like this competition for the fact we won it, it is part of history and players will be remembered for the rest of their lives.
“But now give credit for the five Premier Leagues won in six years. It is important now that people don’t forget what we have done. Maybe they can create a museum so the fans can look at the trophies.”
City are still waiting for the result of the 115 Premier League financial charges against the club. They have denied financial wrong doing and Guardiola said last month he wants the charges dealt with “as soon as possible”.
After their Champions League triumph the manager praised the influence of owner Sheikh Mansour, who was watching on in the stands in Istanbul.
“One of the main reasons why this club became where we are is people from Abu Dhabi – Sheikh Mansour taking over the club. Without that we wouldn’t be here. They are the most important people,” he said.
“They support me unconditionally in the defeats in this competition. In many clubs you are sacked so I give incredible credit to my hierarchy and to my CEO.
Haaland’s statement over Victory
Striker Erling Haaland joined City last summer and netted 12 goals in this season’s Champions League – the joint-most in one campaign for an English club alongside Ruud van Nistelrooy for Manchester United in 2002-03.
The 22-year-old Norwegian also broke the Premier League record for most goals in a season with 36, scoring 52 times in all competitions. “In my wildest dreams I would never think of this,” Haaland told on interview.
“It shows it’s possible for a guy from a small hometown in Norway. It gives hope to younger people in my hometown. It’s unbelievable.
“After a couple of days when this settles a bit and this feeling of winning this trophy, I will want to do it again for sure. I know myself and I know this is how I will think.
“We have to defend what we have achieved this season. That’s how it works. In a month everything is forgotten and we have to start again.” Haaland said it was “really special” to work with Guardiola, who won two Champions League trophies with Barcelona before guiding City to their first.
“We have a good relationship and I look forward to next season to develop even more,” he added. “To be getting trained by him every single day, the best coach in the world, is a good place to be.”
Midfielder Kevin de Bruyne was consoled by Haaland when he was forced off with a hamstring injury in the first half, just two years after his appearance was cut short in the European final defeat by Chelsea.
“It has been a hard two months,” said De Bruyne. “I had a lot of problems with my hamstring and it snapped. “The team was good enough though and we won. We have been working so long for this, it is amazing.”