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Manchester City’s Treble ‘written in the stars’ says Pep Guardiola after Champions League win

Manchester City midfielder Rodri celebrates in front of the Champions League trophy
Rodri scored the only goal of the game against Inter Milan in the 68th minute

Manchester City’s Champions League success was “written in the stars”, said manager Pep Guardiola after his side sealed the Treble in Istanbul.

City beat Inter Milan 1-0 to win a first Champions League title, adding to the Premier League and FA Cup trophies they had already clinched this season.

“I’m tired, calm and satisfied. It’s so difficult to win,” said Guardiola, who also won the Treble with Barcelona.

“It was written in the stars. It belongs to us.”

Midfielder Rodri’s 68th-minute strike – just his second Champions League goal in 48 appearances – was enough to see off Inter Milan at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

“It’s emotional. A dream come true. All these guys around here waited I don’t know how many years,” Rodri told BT Sport.

“They deserve it, we deserve it. The last years we were so close. I just want to thank everyone. It wasn’t easy. What a team we faced, the way they defend and counter-attack.

“We gave everything. Finals are like this. You can’t expect to play as well as always. Emotions and nerves are there. We competed like animals. It’s a dream. This moment will never happen again.”

Manchester City were appearing in their second Champions League final in three seasons, having lost to Chelsea in 2021.

They become just the second English men’s team to win the Treble, following in the footsteps of city rivals Manchester United who achieved the feat in 1999.

‘My dream is in your hands’

Kyle Walker celebrates after Manchester City's Champions League win
Kyle Walker came on as a substitute late in the second half

Guardiola’s biggest decision before the match was to leave England defender Kyle Walker out of the starting XI.

Walker had started City’s past seven matches, including the FA Cup final victory over Manchester United and both legs of the Champions League semi-final win over Real Madrid.

“I’m always going to be disappointed when I’m not playing but I’m 33. My example [is important for] the younger lads,” Walker told BT Sport.

“I made a speech before they went out. I said ‘my dream is in your hands, no pressure’. This club means so much to me. To experience what I’ve experienced, I’m forever in debt.

“I’m over the moon. I’m rarely speechless. My dream has come true, to achieve this with this club. To achieve a Treble is unbelievable.

“My mum and dad are in the stands. From where I come from in Sheffield it’s not easy. I remember when my mum didn’t have a pound for the ice cream van. To have this with them, I’m so thankful.”

England international Jack Grealish, who joined City from Aston Villa for a British record £100m in 2021, was in tears at full-time.

“This is what you work your whole life for. I’m so happy. I was awful [in the final] but I don’t care. To win the Treble with this group of players is so special,” Grealish told BT Sport.

“Everyone who knows me knows how much I love football and this is what I have worked for my whole life. Seeing my family in the crowd makes me so emotional.

“I just said to the manager ‘I want to thank you’. He has put so much faith in me. He is a genius.”

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