"It's a dream" - Pep Guardiola pre Inter Milan, Champions League Final Press Conference
The final press conference this season Pep Guardiola will do in Manchester has been and gone as he looks ahead to possibly the most important game in Manchester City's history - the Champions League final against Inter Milan in Istanbul on Saturday. The (so far) double winning manager this season talked about how relaxed his team are, the differences between now and the last final in 2021, Kyle Walker's fitness, and how the club are preparing for the big occasion.
Kyle Walker was absent from training:
"He had a disturbance in his back. Yesterday he was not good, today he was a little bit better. We didn't want to take a risk and we will see in the next days."
Prep for the final:
"It's been good. In two days we will travel to Istanbul. It's a dream. Two years ago we were there, but it was a different circumstance due to Covid. It's about what you have to do in 95 minutes to be better than the opponent. In one single game you have to be better."
"I don't know, some people want [us to win], some people don't. Some clubs are friends: I'm sure they want it, others don't but that's normal. It's about what you have to do to beat Inter and after the consequences, we'll see."
"I don't know if United want us to win the Champions League final. Of course we represent this country, our fans when they travel represent our club and the UK, but I don't think all fans want us to win. That's football, the rivalry. I think the people that like us for sure but the others it doesn't matter. It's not an important issue."
Motivation from 2021:
"I don't know. I can't speak for the players, some were there, some weren't - it's a different situation. Two years ago isn't long and of course we want to finish differently but we have to know exactly what we have to do. In terms of approach, what to do with and without the ball. It's about what you do in 90 minutes, we accept what the people say no problem at all."
"I'm more than calm, I'm so grateful for what the players have done but finals are so different. What we do in the next days is understand the game we have to play. It will be a game of a lot of difficulties. It's not easy to attack the defensive system they use. We have to have a lot of rhythm and patience. The right tempo is the most important thing in these type of games, the more the game you go through: anxious becomes a problem."
"They are used to dominating the games in Italy and they have a lot of good patterns so we have to defend really well. It's a final against a top team and we have to do it. We are confident and optimistic but I can not deny the qualities of the opponent."
Differences from 2021?
"One week ago we won the FA Cup. In that moment we were just preparing a final, we'd lost two times against Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea and had some doubts. It is not the same but they play five in the back, Chelsea and Inter, the approach was defensive too, but of course Chelsea also had incredibly good patterns to punish us. It is not similar but there are some things [that are the same]. Hopefully we can attack a little bit better. In that time when we played the Champions League final we had an incredibly good season and were playing really good that year. Maybe for the fact they are there again and as much as you arrive in the final maybe you are lucky and can win it. it's difficult to just arrive once in your lifetime and win. What is important is to be there and having this opportunity you want to take it."
Rodri didn't start in the last final:
"It was a game plan like it will be next Saturday. If I tell you privately the reason why I took the decision in that moment you could say it was right but it is simple: If we lose: I am wrong, if I win: I am right. You have to accept that in this business. It was a tight game and in many things we were better than them, but we lost. Would I do something different now? Maybe, but that doesn't count..."
The next level:
"Yeah, definitely. I said many times you have to win Europe to stay at another level. It's as simple as that."
SIR Elton John:
"We saw him. I was with him at the concert in midweek, he was incredibly kind to me and my family. And after, he surprised me when we landed after the FA Cup he was there. Sir, Elton John - there are few people in this country. Whatever you do in your life, when you are 50 years being there all the time generations after generations people listening to your songs, it is because you are really good."
Ange Postecoglou, new Spurs manager:
"Another exceptional manager is coming [to the Premier League]. I was lucky to meet him in Tokyo years ago when he was Yokohama manager, one of the clubs in the CFG. It was an interesting chat and I had a good relation. he has done an incredible job [at Celtic] and will do an incredible job at Spurs. Hopefully we can score one goal away."
Written by: @colgeogcra
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