The venue is the Ataturk stadium in Turkey; the game is the UEFA Champions League final, the price is Europe’s biggest club competition, and the gladiators will be Inter Milan from Italy and an English side (Manchester City) hoping to replicate what their neighbors and biggest rivals did in 1999 by completing a treble.
Since the introduction of Pep Guardiola to English football after joining Manchester City in 2016, the citizens have dominated local football by winning five Premier League titles, 4 Carabao Cups, and two English FA Cup trophies.
One trophy that has managed to escape the grasp of the Spanish coach despite the heavy financial support his team has is the success and glory of the UEFA Champions League. It’s not for the lack of quality, but one can say luck has not been on the side of Manchester City, who will be playing in their second UCL final in three years.
Their first final in 2021 saw them lose to Chelsea while they missed out on his second final last season after a late miracle from Real Madrid before taking their revenge on Real Madrid to secure a second final in less than 4 years. In 2021, Manchester City lost to fellow English club Chelsea in the final in a game where they were the heavy favorites to clinch their first European title that season.
This season, Manchester City easily moved past Los Blancos in the second-leg semi-final at the Etihad Stadium. Meanwhile, for Inter Milan, it is more or less a familiar terrain for a team that has won the UCL three different times, although the last time was thirteen years ago.
The Italians managed to get past their biggest rivals and neighbors, AC Milan, in the Semi-finals to reach the final. Pep Guardiola’s feat with Barcelona winning the UCL twice and their FA Cup win against Manchester United last weekend, coupled with the league title, pushes them a notch as favorite against the Italians who won the Coppa Italia against Fiorentina.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu