On Saturday evening at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Man City’s Pep Guardiola completed his task while the chief executive officer looked on from the stands. Guardiola has done exactly what Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan recruited him to achieve by leading Manchester City to their first Champions League triumph, but by also winning a treble, he has added the most amazing flourish.
Guardiola’s Man City have now matched their victory from 1999 as Rodri’s strike in the 68th minute gave them a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan.
Man City Led To Victory By Guardiola
Guardiola claimed, “It was written in the stars.” It is our property. I’m worn out. Calm. Satisfied. It’s challenging to win. The achievement belongs to Guardiola, and while it was undoubtedly Man City’s night, the strain he has been under to lead the team to European championship glory was evident in his sobbing relief at the game’s conclusion. That tension was likely increased by Sheikh Mansour’s attendance during the game. Despite investing more than £2 billion in the team since purchasing City in September 2008, he had only ever attended one game, a victory against Liverpool at home in 2010.
Guardiola has won 5 Premier League titles since moving to the Etihad in 2016, engineered a domestic triple in 2019, and led City to 100 points in the 2017–18 season, the only side to achieve it in Premier League history. Despite all of that achievement, the Champions League has a history of disappointment and close calls, notably losing the final to Chelsea in Porto in 2021.
Guardiola had even stated before this game that unless his City team and his time at the club won the Champions League, they could not be considered legendary. However, the wait is now over, and for City and its followers, Istanbul will always be synonymous with ultimate victory. Guardiola’s team-building effort has been funded by a man, so the idea of having to apologize or wish him luck in the future was not anything he wanted to think about.