Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has insisted that there is more than money behind the club as they reached a first ever Champions League final, adding that the last five years of his time at the Etihad Stadium now ‘make sense’.
City beat Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 at home and 2-1 away to secure a 4-1 aggregate victory in their semi-final, booking a place in the final in Istanbul on Saturday 29 May.
For Guardiola, the man brought in to take City to the pinnacle of European football after others since the Abu Dhabi takeover have tried and failed, it is his first time back in the Champions League final since he last won it with Barcelona 10 years ago.
“People believe it’s easy to arrive in the final of the Champions League. Getting to the final now makes sense of what we have done in the past four or five years,” the City boss said after the final whistle, quoted by BBC Sport.
Guardiola praised the consistency of his players and expressed relief at riding their luck at times.
“Every day these guys have been consistent. We scored a goal through the hips [of the defensive wall] in the first game, and today Marquinhos hit the bar in the first half – you can be out for little details,” he explained.
“Manchester United won a title [in 2008] because of John Terry’s slip and scored in the last minute against Bayern Munich [in 1999] and Real Madrid won a title against Atletico in the 93rd minute [in 2014]. It’s a competition that is so difficult and something in the stars is involved in that.
“I want to thank the owner, the chairman and the staff at the club. This club is about all the people that work behind the scenes, it’s not just about money. If you want to think that then you are wrong.”