The Spanish coach is looking for his first Champions League in Manchester and the treble: “I know we won’t be complete without winning this cup. Sometimes playing with so much pressure is fantastic and necessary”
The Manchester City treble operation has already started. On the pitch he starts for Brighton, and for Roberto De Zerbi’s team that Pep Guardiola admires so much. But in the head of the coach who has just won the Premier League for the fifth time in 6 years, the last date is already here, the Champions League final on June 10. “I started to see a few minutes from Inter, some situations, and I’m very impressed,” Pep revealed about the rival in Istanbul.
City have never faced Inter in their history and the final is still a long way off. And not only because the English champions will have to play the last two Premier League games first and then with United on June 3 in the first Manchester derby assigned to the FA Cup. The Champions League is something else: it is the obsession that has the City. pursued since the arrival of Guardiola. And then Inter is already in the coach’s mind. “They impressed me with what they do, with their body language,” he says. “After I got to watch them, I called some friends who live in Italy to ask their opinion on Inter: they all told me to stay because they are serious.” . They didn’t need to tell me: I had already understood it by looking at those minutes, those situations”. Pep will have time to prepare his City for the game against the Nerazzurri, to give the players the indications they need to make a difference (“Our manager is a genius and he will tell us how to beat them”, said Jack Grealish immediately after the semi-final against la Real), but in the meantime he has already begun to study, to understand the secrets that have led Inzaghi’s team to the end of the competition. One that Pep wants to win at all costs, but he also knows that he can lose. “Of course, Inter can beat us. They have won this trophy three times and we don’t have any, but we want to give our best so that it doesn’t happen,” he said in a broader speech, in which he explained that the way he understands football and sports can win or lose but what is really important is always to give the best of himself, what he expects from his City in each of the last four games of a 2022-23 season that can become a legend for the part Manchester blue.
However, Guardiola sees in Inter the expression of that mentality that made him say that a final against an Italian team is the worst thing that can happen to him. “It is no coincidence that there are 3 teams in the finals of the three cups – says Pep – and that others have played in the semifinals. I played in Italy, I know the mentality that Italian teams have in the finals. Let’s not forget that twenty years ago Serie A was the best league in the world and everyone, players and coaches, wanted to play there. And that Italy has won the World Cup four times. They still have that mentality, and that’s why I think a final against an Italian will be difficult.”
Inter on June 10 could represent for City the last obstacle to the legend, the last team to beat to win the cup that would give the dynasty that Guardiola built in Manchester the international legitimacy that it still lacks. For this reason, the objective is to arrive polished, especially on a mental level, better if he also recovers Nathan Aké, the defender who has been out for a month due to two injuries but who has reached the final phase of his recovery process. “Since I’ve been here we’ve won a lot: sometimes I think it’s unfair that we need the Champions League to take credit for what we’ve done,” Pep admits, “but that’s the way it is and he has to accept it. I know we won’t be complete without also winning the Champions League. Sometimes playing with this pressure is great, necessary. We often talk to each other, we tell ourselves that we have to do it. But at the same time, if we don’t do it and they keep winning, surely sooner or later we will. But now we have the chance to be in the final and we have to try”. For this, Pep has already targeted Inter.
May 23, 2023 (change May 23, 2023 | 23:37)
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