Pep Guardiola was quick to talk about the need to bank on Manchester City’s maiden Champions League title on Saturday. City will likely break Real Madrid’s record of 14 European Cups. His second final in three seasons. Ataturk Olimpiyat Stadium’s 1-0 win over Inter Milan was expected. The wealth of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family and Guardiola’s apparent insatiable passion for perfection could make City even stronger in the years to come. Guardiola likes Jordan. Guardiola knows City’s European reputation is built on recurring success, much like the great Chicago Bulls, who have won six NBA titles.
Madrid won four Champions League titles between 2014 and 2018 and again in 2022. City standard. Guardiola noted that some Champions League winners leave after one or two seasons. Avoid this. I will never do that. That City have won a treble, including the Premier League and FA Cup, in a transitional year with new striker Erling Haaland and a three-man defense under Guardiola is astounding. With the potential departure of captain Ilkay Gundogan and Bernardo Silva, the midfield could change.
Left-back Joao Cancelo was loaned out to Bayern Munich midway through the season and could leave this summer. Real Madrid have signed England international Jude Bellingham. If Gundogan or Silva leave, a replacement may be sought. City have a talented player in Phil Foden who could play more this season. City supporters in Abu Dhabi regularly gave Guardiola the funds to develop his club with the biggest players in the world. After City lost the 2021 Champions League final to Chelsea, Jack Grealish became English football’s first £100m ($139m) signing. Haaland, who was wanted by virtually every major European club, joined a side that won back-to-back league titles last year.
Guardiola will want to avoid regressing after winning the Champions League. He can inform Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who witnessed City’s triumph. Guardiola last won the European Cup with Barcelona in 2011. He has won this tournament three times and knows how difficult it is. Since 1992, only Madrid have managed to defend the trophy. This is the threshold necessary to govern Europe. City have big goals, but the competition is fierce.