Ataturk Stadium. Over 70,000 passionate fans. Two teams. One shared dream: winning the Champions League. Only one could emerge victorious, and it was Manchester City that realized their long-awaited dream.
Last night Manchester City went to bed as the champions of Europe, etching their name in history for the first time.
“It was written in the stars that this year Manchester City had to triumph. Having overcome Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, and Inter Milan, we have proven that we truly deserve it,” expressed Pep Guardiola after the glorious victory.
THE LONG WAIT IS OVER
For Pep, it had been 12 years since lifting the Champions League trophy, the last time being with Barcelona against Manchester United.
This win marks his third triumph in the tournament, surpassed only by the Italian Carlo Ancelotti.
Moreover, he becomes the sixth coach to have claimed this esteemed title with two different teams.
NOT AN EASY BATTLE
Both teams reached halftime with a goalless draw, displaying a closely contested first half. Both sides demonstrated an unyielding determination to win and showcased their meticulous preparations for this final. The Milan-based team had erected an impenetrable fortress against Manchester City.
In the second half, Inter seemed invigorated, keeping Manchester City on their toes. However, Rodri managed to shatter the Lombard defence, breaking the deadlock in the 68th minute and beating André Onana with a well-executed strike. Inter continued to fight until the end, refusing to make it an easy victory for Manchester.
“I want to congratulate Inter Milan, not just for their performance but for giving it their all. I know the feeling because we experienced it two years ago. There are no words that can assuage the pain, but being the second-best team in Europe is an incredible achievement,” shared Pep regarding Inter.
THIRTEEN YEARS OF WAITING
Inter had not lifted the Champions League trophy since their victorious campaign against Bayern in 2010.
On June 10, they hoped to break the curse that had plagued Italian teams in European competitions. Unfortunately, this year was not their year and the Nerazzurri returned to Italy with a bitter taste of defeat.
“What makes me proud is that we have delivered a final of such magnitude,” expressed Inzaghi with gratitude. “The players should be proud of what they have accomplished in this Champions League final.”
In a game that could have easily ended in victory with fortune on their side, football has once again reminded us of its unpredictable nature.