Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his team’s maiden Champions League title was “written in the stars” after their final victory over Inter Milan on Saturday. Rodri‘s 68th-minute strike proved enough for City to finally get their hands on club football’s biggest trophy, despite having to ride their luck as Inter missed several second-half chances. “It’s so difficult to win it,” Guardiola told BT Sport after the nervy 1-0 victory.
“They (his players) are really good. Be patient, I said at half-time. You have to be lucky. (Goalkeeper) Ederson or they miss it, they could draw. This competition is a coin.
“It was written in the stars. It belongs to us.”
Guardiola has now won the trophy three times as a coach after his previous triumphs with Barcelona in 2009 and 2011.
City’s victory also clinched a treble following their Premier League and FA Cup successes this season.
“After the World Cup the team made a step forward and we were there,” added Guardiola, whose side complete the campaign with just one loss in their last 28 matches.
“We’re going to celebrate in the hotel with family and friends. Monday the parade is in Manchester. With this competition, the treble is so difficult.”
He is just the second coach to lead an English club to such a treble, following in the footsteps of Alex Ferguson.
“It is an honour for me to be alongside Sir Alex Ferguson in that situation,” he told reporters.
“I have to say I got a message from him this morning on my phone that touched me a lot. It is an honour for me to be with him. It is so nice.”
City had suffered several near-misses in the Champions League since being taken over by their Abu Dhabi backers in 2008, including a defeat by Chelsea in the final two years ago.
They also lost in the semi-finals last season in dramatic circumstances to Real Madrid, following other unexpected defeats in recent years against the likes of Lyon and Tottenham Hotspur.
“You have to win in Europe to be considered a really good team, and we did it,” Guardiola admitted.
“Inter is an exceptional team, but sometimes you need this type of luck that in the past against Tottenham, in other games, in the final against Chelsea, that we didn’t have.”
– ‘A big relief’ –
The 52-year-old, who also won the competition as a player with Barcelona in 1992, admitted he was looking forward to a break now but said he hoped this would just be the start for City in Europe.
“I don’t want after one Champions League to disappear, so we have to work harder next season and be there,” he insisted.
“There are teams that win the Champions League and after one or two seasons, they disappear. We have to avoid it.
“Knowing me, this will not happen, but at the same time I have to admit it is a big relief for this club, this institution, for everyone to have this trophy.
“Now finally they are not going to ask me if we are going to win the Champions League.”
The next target will be retaining the trophy, something only Madrid have done in the past three decades.
“No don’t talk about it. Give me a break please,” he joked when asked about getting ready to go again next season, when the final will be played at Wembley.
“My chairman said ‘Oh London is next season, the final of the Champions League’. I don’t tell you my answer to him.
“We have time. Now is time to celebrate.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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