Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed his relief that his side have now finally won the UEFA Champions League.
The Citizens beat Inter in Saturday’s final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Turkey, with Rodri’s second-half goal enough to see off the Nerazzurri.
Despite consistently boasting talented squads and having the ability to spend vast sums on transfers, Man City have continually underperformed in Europe, with Guardiola often blamed for ‘overthinking’ tactics in crucial games.
They reached their first Champions League final in 2021 but were beaten by underdogs Chelsea. Man City have now avenged that shock defeat with glory two years on, completing the treble in the process.
Speaking to BT Sport post-match, Guardiola was asked how he felt after winning his first Champions League in 12 years.
“Tired, calm, satisfied of course. This f***ing trophy is so difficult to win! It’s impossible,” Guardiola expleted.
“It could be different, we knew it. First because they [Inter] are good, really good. Antonio Conte will learn a lot with what they do, it’s quite similar – they bring you up, they find strikers, they link really well, can keep it and then run to the other side.
“The first time, we were so anxious, so the man free was John Stones. We couldn’t find him. But it’s a question to be patient. I said it at half-time, last time we were 1-0 down in Porto [against Chelsea in 2021], now it is 0-0 which is something.
“And we have to be lucky. This competition…they did it at the end, the same, Ederson [makes a save] or they miss it or they could draw. Phil [Foden] could have scored a second one. It’s a coin [flip]. But we were there and I think it was written in the stars. It belongs to us and we did it.”
When asked what makes this Man City team different to previous iterations, Guardiola replied: “I think we defend a little bit better in the box, we have four central defenders, these guys are proper defenders. Even if we make mistakes, I have the feeling we are more solid.
“We didn’t make a bad game, in general it was not bad. The momentum started winning the Premier League, the FA Cup, and now we finish here.
“We were not frustrated [with form in the first half of the season], maybe it was not our best level and Arsenal was beyond exceptional. But after the World Cup, the team made a step forward.”
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