Manchester City will not get stage fright in the Champions League final, Pep Guardiola insists, as the Spaniard hopes his players will only need ‘one shot’ to take home the trophy as they prepare for their first-ever European showpiece.
- Manchester City will play its first Champions League final against Chelsea
- Pep Guardiola has allayed fears of his squad’s inexperience for the game
- The Spaniard believes that not all clubs need time to win big awards
Pep Guardiola hopes that Manchester City’s inexperience on the first attempt this weekend will not stand in the way of winning the Champions League final.
City are preparing to play against Chelsea in Porto on Saturday and Guardiola – who won the league as a player and twice as a manager – was in a confident mood on Monday.
“When we won in 1992, Barcelona had already lost two finals,” said Guardiola, who was named Manager of the Year by the League Managers’ Association on Monday.
Pep Guardiola doesn’t believe inexperience will hurt Man City in the Champions League final
City are preparing for their first-ever final against Chelsea, but Guardiola hopes they only need ‘one chance’ to take home the trophy.
‘Sometimes you need time. In other clubs it is only one chance to become a champion. Hopefully it will be the same for us.
‘We have won back-to-back titles for the first time, broke many records for the first time and are now in the final for the first time. As a club we are not old in this case, but in terms of excitement, no one can beat us in that. ‘
In the finale, an old enemy awaits. Referee Antonio Mateu Lahoz sent Guardiola to the stands in the quarter-final defeat to Liverpool in 2018 and angered City with decisions in a draw with Monaco last season. But Guardiola said he ‘didn’t care’ that the Spanish referee is in charge, adding, ‘I have so much confidence in my team and what we need to do.’
Guardiola and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel have deep respect for each other since sharing a meal in Munich six years ago. “It was a nice restaurant,” said Guardiola. ‘We talked about soccer, football, soccer and football.
The Spaniard says no team can match City for excitement ahead of the showpiece in Porto
‘I learned a lot. With good food, good wine, it was a fun time to share. We have had a good relationship ever since. He knows and I know we want to win. ‘
A hallmark of City’s season, in which they have already won the Premier League and Carabao Cup, is the leadership of the club’s five designated captains. Ilkay Gundogan, one such group, praised another on Monday, Fernandinho.
“It’s huge,” said Gundogan. ‘He didn’t get as much playing time as others, but he knows exactly what his role is and what he has to say. He is a big part of our success. I feel like we have the right dynamics and that’s why I feel confident. ‘