On Saturday, 22:00 Israel time, Manchester City and Inter will face off for the Champions League final at Istanbul's Ataturk Stadium. On Friday evening, the two clubs held their press conference ahead of the big battle, and there is no doubt that the psychological warfare of both coaches is at its peak.
"Are we favourites? I don't control other people's thoughts," City manager Pep Guardiola began his opponent's war of anesthesia, "It's all up to us and them." Italian side coach Simona Inzaghi responded: "Manchester City? They are the strongest team in the world."
But the story doesn't end here. Guardiola, smiling almost as usual, spoke of the real goal: "Is winning the Champions League an obsession or a dream? It's a dream. It's always a dream to win trophies, even though the word obsession is a positive thing."
"I hope it will be a great night," Pep continued, moving on to analyze the opponent: "Inter is not a team that is used to just defending. They have a good goalkeeper, but all their strikers, from Lautaro Martinez to Juan Correa, are dangerous. They know how to attack from the center, hold onto the ball. We will try to defend as best as possible."
Lukaku and Martinez. Pep fears Inter attack, Photo: AP
On his team's tactics, he said: "It's a big game, which requires creativity from the players, but what matters is the way of thinking. We have to play from the start like we're behind, and not think the game started 0-0. We need a result like this to let Inter think they're winning, and then we can go ahead."
And what does Inzaghi have to say? "We know City very well. They proved their greatness, but the game is 11 against 11, and we come after a good run and deserve to be here. We will use our cards as best as we can."
Simona Inzaghi. Ready for battle, photo: Reuters
The Italian added: "I'm lucky to coach players who have already been to finals. Heart and mind are the required keys. We have to come focused, clear and be like that throughout the game."
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"There will be difficult moments," Inzaghi continued, "but we know exactly how to play against City. We will have to keep our mistakes to a minimum. The players are cohesive, connected, and we will fight inch by inch against a very strong opponent."
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