Guardiola & Dias pre-Champions League final press conference: “Manchester City not favourites vs Inter, it’ll be difficult to defend against them”

Despite the whole world saying otherwise, Pep Guardiola insists that Manchester City aren't favourites for the Champions League final, and Kevin De Bruyne also spoke to the press at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

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ATATURK OLYMPIC STADIUM (Istanbul): Manchester City are ready to “embrace” the pressure of the 2023 Champions League final against Inter as stressed by Ruben Dias in the pre-match press conference.

The Portuguese centre-back spoke with the press ahead of tomorrow’s game, before Kevin De Bruyne and coach Pep Guardiola also joined, reminding the assembled press, including Total Italian Football, that in spite of what is being widely reported, “in our minds there are no favourites in a final, you can only be a favourite when you are on the pitch and you start actually doing things”.

“We love the pressure,” De Bruyne continued. “The pressure in the right measure makes you run faster, jump higher and be more focused. You have to embrace it and never forget to be yourself.”

Guardiola plays down ‘favourites’ tag

Man City coach Pep Guardiola also stressed that “it’s not important to be favourite” before a game and that the Citizens know how to cope with this kind of pressure.

Pep Guardiola celebrates. (@ManCity)

“We know how important the competition is. I don’t control what the people have an opinon about, just focus on what we have to do,” Guardiola said.

“I saw as many Inter games I could to see what we have to do. In the end, it’s a football game. The team who performs better over 95 minutes will win. Over history, Inter are bigger than us. It’s not important, [what is] important is that tomorrow at 10 pm Istanbul time [21:00 CEST / 20:00 BST] we give the best performance possible.”

Aware of Inter’s ability to pose problems for City

Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez embrace for Inter. [@Inter_en]

Asked about what makes Inter a tricky opponent, he especially praised the Nerazzurri for their ability to play from the back.

“They’re very good at building up from the back with the likes of [Andre] Onana, who is a brilliant goalkeeper, [Francesco] Acerbi, [Alessandro] Bastoni on the left side, and then they know how to connect well with their strikers,” Guardiola said.

“We have to try to defend, I don’t know how, but we need to try to defend these connections. When we have the ball, try to attack. It’ll be difficult against five at the back, we’ll try to find a solution to be more effective”.

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