All you need to know about the Champions League final is that “this is the dream”
In the final against Inter Milan at Istanbul’s Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Manchester City will try to win the Champions League for the first time and complete the Triple.
The Premier League and FA Cup have already been won by Pep Guardiola’s team.
City has made it to the Champions League final two times in three years, losing to Chelsea in 2020–21.
City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne told BBC Radio 5 Live, “We just need to find a way to win the first one.
“If we could pull that off, the benefits to the players, the clubs, and the fans would be enormous.”
Manchester United is the only English team to have won the Treble, which includes the Premier League, FA Cup, and Champions League.
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City enters the final on Saturday in superb form, having dropped only one of their last 26 games overall and remaining undefeated in Europe this year, winning seven of 12 games.
For the first time since winning the competition in 2011 with Barcelona, a team he also helped earn a treble with two years prior, Guardiola is pursuing success in Europe.
His City team appears even more fearsome on paper than Barcelona’s team did in 2008–09, which lost just once en route to the final but scored 32 goals and allowed 13 goals, compared to City’s 31 goals and five goals allowed through one game.
Guardiola responded when asked about his accomplishments, “I had [Lionel] Messi in the past and [Erling] Haaland now. My achievement is this. I’m not kidding; this is the reality.
Inter, coached by Jose Mourinho, eliminated Guardiola’s Barcelona in the semi-finals en route to their own triple in 2010, but this will be Inter’s first encounter with City.
“The conclusion is here. Guardiola continued, “The Champions League is a fantastic competition. “Yes, that is definitely a dream.
“You must constantly have the right balance of obsession and desire to do things. Of course, the word “willingness to try” is positive.
Inter aims for a fourth European championship.
The Coppa Italia is celebrated by Inter Milan athletes.
Under Simone Inzaghi, Inter has won back-to-back Coppa Italia championships.
Three-time European champions Inter, who placed third in Serie A and won the Coppa Italia for the second straight year, will face off against Manchester City, who are the clear favorites.
However, Inter should not be disregarded since they have recorded a tournament-high eight clean sheets in their first 12 games, with goalkeeper Andre Onana being their star player.
A strong attack is also present in Simone Inzaghi’s team. Edin Dzeko, a former Manchester City striker, and Romelu Lukaku, who hasn’t played a game in Europe this year, are also available for the Italians, who are led by Lautaro Martinez, who has 28 goals and 11 assists from 58 appearances this season.
The fact that we have players like Dzeko and Onana who have been in semi-final matches makes this match “my most important ever,” according to Inzaghi.
It’s been a long, difficult year, but it pays off all our work.
Martinez, a forward for Argentina, continued, “I hope we can deliver a terrific performance, secure a victory, and bring the trophy to Milan. For us, it’s a huge dream. Although it is exceedingly challenging to accomplish, we have made progress.
Personality is essential. You must have the will and put your whole heart into it. That kind of spirit had been lost from Inter for a while, but we’ve brought it back. I demand character and bravery from you.
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Erling Haaland pledges to capture the Triple Crown for Manchester City, telling BBC sports editor Dan Roan.
Erling Haaland, a striker for Manchester City, has enjoyed an incredible debut season in English football since moving there from Borussia Dortmund last summer.
With 36 goals this season, he set the Premier League record for most goals scored in a season. He has also scored 52 goals throughout all competitions, or one goal every 78 minutes.
The Norwegian international is the first player to win the Premier League player and young player of the year honours in the same season, and he has been voted the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) men’s footballer of the year.
Haaland is eager to add the Champions League to his collection of trophies, and his outstanding 63-minute average for goals in the competition throughout stints with City, Dortmund, and Red Bull Salzburg proves it.
His two-game scoring drought is his longest ever, but his 12 goals are tied with Ruud van Nistelrooy’s for Manchester United in 2002–03 for the most in a Champions League season for an English club.
Guardiola’s response when asked if he was concerned about Haaland’s alleged goal drought was, “If you have worries about Erling Haaland scoring goals, you are a lonely guy.
“I have no reservations. He’ll be prepared to support our Champions League victory.
Haaland aims to score in the final for the first time since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose goal gave United the Triple Crown in 1999.
We don’t need to hide that this is the reason they acquired me, Haaland said to BBC sports editor Dan Roan.
“Everything would depend on it. I’ll use every effort to attempt to make it happen. My greatest dream, and perhaps it will come true.
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Manchester City has a 74.5% chance of winning, according to Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis at Nielsen’s Gracenote, and they are ranked first in the Euro Club Index, whereas Inter are ranked eighth.
Italian football expert James Horncastle stated on the Euro Leagues podcast, “I was in Milan on Monday and the players were really comfortable.
“The crucial query is: Are you being undervalued? The match appears to have already been decided. There is far less strain on them because they weren’t expecting to be here.
They were laughing and making jokes for Inter. They may not get a free hit, but they are in a great frame of mind going into it.
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Expert in European football Guillem Balague argues that City are not assuming anything, though.
“This idea that Manchester City believe this is a done deal comes more from the pundits and fans,” he continued. But there are a lot of worries that Manchester City have about this game.
Inter can defend far better than Manchester United without needing to have the ball. ‘Patience’ and the advice to “just keep trying” have been mentioned most frequently in the camp.
According to analysis, the game would be quite challenging. They are acting with great respect.
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With 12 goals in the Champions League this season, Erling Haaland has four more than Mohamed Salah of Liverpool, who is second in the list of top scorers.
Manchester City easily advanced from the group stage, winning Group G without a loss and finishing five points ahead of Borussia Dortmund in second place.
In addition to defeating Sevilla both at home and away to advance to the knockout rounds, Guardiola’s team won both of their games at Etihad Stadium.
They faced the German team RB Leipzig in the round of 16, and they once again demonstrated their strength at home with a 7-1 thumping, in which Haaland assisted himself to five goals, to advance 8-1 on aggregate.
Bayern Munich, a team Guardiola once managed, was drawn to play Manchester City in the quarterfinals. City entered the semifinals with a 3-0 victory in the opening leg. They later achieved a 1-1 draw in Germany to guarantee their advancement.
In the semifinal against 14-time champion Real Madrid, City faced their most difficult test to date. The first leg in Spain ended in a 1-1 draw, but City’s stellar home record came into play again as they won 4-0 to advance to the championship game.
Inter Milan’s path to the championship
Inter Milan placed second in Group C, behind Bayern Munich, with two losses from their six games, but they finished ahead of Barcelona after defeating them 1-0 at home and then drew 3-3 in Spain.
They defeated Porto and Benfica in the knockout stage to go to a semifinal matchup with AC Milan, the city rivals.
They jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first leg thanks to two goals in the first 11 minutes. They then won the second leg 1-0 to advance 3-0 overall.
They are only the fourth team to do so since the Champions League era began in 1992–1993, joining Tottenham in 2018–19, Bayern Munich in 1998–99, and AC Milan in 1994–1955, all of which lost their respective finals.