Pep Guardiola has cautioned the players he coaches at Manchester City not to let their confidence leading up to the Champions League final against Inter Milan turn into arrogance. The players’ goal is to become the first team in history to win three consecutive major titles.
The team led by Guardiola is currently one game away from being only the second team in Premier League history to win the FA Cup, Champions League, and all three titles in the same season.
After dispatching Bayern Munich and Real Madrid en route to the final, City is an overwhelming favorite to win the match that will take place in Istanbul on Saturday.
Inter, on the other hand, finished a distant third in Serie A and had a less difficult path to the final as they defeated Porto, Benfica, and AC Milan to get there. Inter also won the match.
However, the Italians have a much more illustrious history in the European Cup, having won it three times to City’s zero; as a result, Guardiola has cautioned his squad not to grow overconfident.
At City’s pre-match media day on Tuesday, Guardiola stated, “Of course we are confident, so optimistic, but at the same time I cannot deny the difficulties and qualities of the opponents.”
“I have never done it before, and especially not in the final of the Champions League.”
By defeating the Red Devils in the FA Cup final by a score of 2-1 on Saturday, City kept themselves on track to replicate the treble success of Manchester United’s team from the 1998–1999 season.
That, according to Guardiola, was a much better preparation for the Champions League final than his team’s only other participation in the European showpiece two years ago, when they fell 1-0 to Chelsea in Porto. That was their only previous appearance in the Champions League final.
However, he claimed that City’s incredible run over the course of the previous four months will not matter in the slightest when it comes to achieving success at the Ataturk Stadium.
The lone loss City had suffered in its past 27 matches occurred on the last day of the Premier League season at Brentford. By this point, City had long since clinched the league championship.
“We are aware that how you conduct yourselves for the remaining 95 minutes will determine your grade. It is not about history; in terms of history, they are better than we are,” remarked Guardiola.
It makes no difference how well you do in the group stage, the last 16, the quarterfinals, the Premier League, or the FA Cup. You only have to win one game to prove that you are more skilled than the other player.
The only player on City’s roster who is questionable with an injury is England right-back Kyle Walker, who missed training on Tuesday due to a back problem.
On the other hand, we anticipate that he will make a full recovery in time to participate in the final.
“He has had a little bit of a disturbance in his back,” Guardiola said. “He has been playing through it.”
“Yesterday he was not well, and while today he was a little bit better, we didn’t want to take any chances because we didn’t want to make things worse. In the next days, we shall find out.”