City ready to 'suffer' for European title

·3-min read

Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola believes his side will have to "suffer" if they are to overcome Chelsea in the Champions League final, such is the magnitude of the game.

Premier League champions City have never reached this stage before despite their billionaire Abu Dhabi backers.

Guardiola has won Europe's top club title twice as Barcelona boss but still expects to be put through the wringer in Porto on Saturday.

"I am pretty sure we have to suffer to win the final," he told a news conference on Friday.

"Most of the time in finals you have to suffer. You have to be resilient. Adjust to the bad moments that are going to happen. At the end we have to be ourselves and do a good game."

Guardiola could have some problems ahead of the game after midfielder Ilkay Guendogan suffered a knock during the training session on Friday and left the pitch quite early on, European football ruling body UEFA reported.

The player limped off with a knee injury in City's penultimate game of the season against Brighton and was left on the bench against Everton last weekend as a precaution.

Losing Guendogan would be a bitter blow for Guardiola as he's one of City's key player.

The third all-English Champions League final will have a limited number of fans from both clubs because of coronavirus restrictions.

But that will not make it less of an occasion for Guardiola, who has been at City since 2016 with the Champions League trophy a clear goal, despite three Premier League crowns.

"All I can say I am the happiest man right now. It is a privilege. It is an honour," said.

"I know exactly what I am going to tell [the players]. I don't want to bother them too much. The guys who are anxious or nervous I am going to tell them it is normal and the guys who are more relaxed it is normal as well.

"Everyone will handle it their own way."

Guardiola added that he expected a good game and that whoever wins would deserve the victory.

Chelsea beat City twice this season, 1-0 in the FA Cup semi-finals and 2-1 away in the Premier League on May 8. But City defeated the Blues in London 3-1 in January.

City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne has again been a stand-out this season in Guardiola's star-studded squad but even the Belgium international is feeling the pressure.

"We understand the magnitude of tomorrow. If you win, you're a hero and if you don't you're almost a failure, even though you are not. If you don't win it'll be something you don't want to experience but it happens," he said.

"Obviously it's been one of the goals of the club and one of the players to be here and perform on the highest stage in the world. It's a privilege. Everyone understands the pressure."

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