Guardiola: ‘Inter are the second best team in Europe’


Pepe Guardiola was full of praise for Inter and Italian football, following Manchester City’s 1-0 win in the Champions League final. The Nerazzurri were seen as massive outsiders but restricted City to just a handful of chances while having opportunities of their own to win the match, something Pep pointed to in his post-match press conference:

For you a great joy, for Inter a great disappointment. What would you like to tell them?

“There are no words that can reduce the pain Inter is feeling, but they are the second best team in Europe. Then I want to dedicate a word to our president, usually when you don’t win the Champions League right away the coach is fired. Some people think you always have to win but we know what sport is like, sometimes it seemed that we had to win today at all costs, that it was written in the stars. I am delighted but they had some great chances at the end and if we had conceded a goal we could have lost in extra time. It was our year, we did something unique, you also have to give importance to the 5 championships, 2 FA Cups and the other trophies we won. Then we had to win in Europe, we did it against a great Inter team, we suffered, they have physicality but sometimes you also need that bit of luck that we didn’t have in the past. In the final with Chelsea we didn’t have it, sometimes it goes like that.”

What does this triple mean for you?

“I’m fine, I’m happy, tomorrow I will realize. I won it in 1992 with Barcelona as a player, I won it as a coach. We did not expect different movements, Calhanoglu on Rodri, there was little space for Stones, Ruben Dias. Instead then we found the right movement that led to the goal. Foden could have doubled then in the final they were better. They pressed us, put us in trouble in the final but Ederson saved us.”

How do you evaluate this season for City and for you as a coach?

“If this team has started to win it is because a certain ownership bought the club, that is no doubt. Sometimes when you don’t win the Champions League  you get fired and I have to thank the ownership for trusting me. If we had lost it would have been a disaster, we would have been losers. But we have not changed, we are still the same players, maybe it was written in the stars.”

What does this victory represent for you in your career? How did you see Inzaghi’s Inter?

“I know Baggio was here with Infantino, he had come to Wembley and always brought me luck. I leave the judgments on me to you, if we don’t win it’s a failure, Italian football has taken three teams to European finals, but I knew Inter would play like this. A very strong team, you were talking about them as an underdog but for me they are a very strong team in all its elements. They have everything to be in the finals and they played as I expected. They are as sad as we were in the last final but they can try again, they were the team I imagined.”


Serie A obsessive.