The Champions League to complete a historic treble, the hat-trick, equaling the feat achieved in England only to United's cousins, but also to certify the rise of Manchester City in the elite of international football. "I have repeated it many times: winning in Europe means taking this club to another level", the sentence of Pep Guardiola, who a few days before the Istanbul appointment with Inter, while saying he is confident and optimistic, exercises prudence, reserving great praise for Simone Inzaghi's team. Fresh from the triumph in the Premier League, the fifth in the last six seasons, and the conquest of the FA Cup, the Citizens are the big favorites for Saturday's final: bookmakers and commentators agree almost unanimously in the predictions. It is also an opportunity for City to redeem the disappointment of the 2021 final, lost to Chelsea. "Two years ago we came to that game after losing twice to Chelsea, we had more doubts. There are similarities between how Chelsea played and Inter, both side with the five-man defense - Guardiola's analysis -. Us favourites? We're used to it, and I don't see why it should be a risk to accept that role. But we know the value of our next opponents." After the two Champions League wins at the helm of Barcelona, Guardiola chases the missed trio at the helm of Bayern Munich and that would be worth the consecration of his seven-year Englishman. "But every final is a completely different game. We will have to understand what game to play because many difficulties await us - underlined the Catalan coach -. It is not easy to overcome Inter's defensive system. We will have to have a great rhythm, but also be patient, because the more time passes, the more the tension can increase." If the condition of full-back Kyle Walker, who suffers from severe back pain, is concerned, Erling Haaland will certainly be on the pitch, the extra man of this City, already scored 52 times in the current season but who knows he was bought in particular to reach the finish line of the Champions League. But Guardiola, more than on his players ("I am immensely grateful for what they have done so far"), preferred to dwell on the qualities of the Nerazzurri. "Those who underestimate Inter are wrong, because in Italy they are a team used to controlling games, and we will also have to know how to defend very well. It's a final against a top team. I have confidence and I am optimistic, but at the same time I am aware of the difficulties that await us and the qualities of our next opponents." For Inter it is an opportunity to enrich the palmares with the fourth continental trophy, while for City it would be an absolute first. "Inter is a team with a great history, but in a dry match history does not count: the best win. It doesn't even matter what you did in the group stage, in the quarter-finals, last season, in the Premier League or in the FA Cup. It's a single game." Without turning into an obsession: "It's a dream to be back in the final. We will try to do our best, because we know that the final depends on how you behave in the 90 minutes: the best win."
Guardiola: 'History does not win the Champions League but the best'
Highlights: 'The cup is a dream. Inter are a top team and it will be difficult' (ANSA). The Champions League to complete a historic treble, the hat-trick, equaling the feat achieved in England only to United's cousins. Fresh from the triumph in the Premier League, the fifth in the last six seasons, and the conquest of the FA Cup, the Citizens are the big favorites for Saturday's final. It is also an opportunity for City to redeem the disappointment of the 2021 final, lost to Chelsea.
'The cup is a dream. Inter are a top team and it will be difficult' (ANSA)