The Champions League final is the pinnacle of club football, a duel between the best sides in Europe. This year’s edition, which takes place in Istanbul on June 10th, will probably be an interesting encounter between Manchester City, champions of England’s Premier League and Internazionale (also known as Inter Milan), third-place finishers in Italy’s Serie A.
Pep Guardiola’s side who have already won the Premier League and FA Cup will look to win the Champions League for the first time and complete the Treble when they play Inter Milan in the final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
It is the second time in three years City have reached the Champions League final, losing to Chelsea in 2020-21.
Manchester United are the only English side to have won the Treble – Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League – achieving the feat in 1998-99.
Guardiola is chasing European success for the first time since winning the competition in 2011 with Barcelona, with whom he also secured a treble two years earlier.
On paper, his City side appear even more formidable than that of Barcelona in 2008-09 – Barca, who lost once en route to the final, scored 32 goals and conceded 13 that season while City, with one game still to play, have scored 31 goals so far and conceded just five.
Inter, under Jose Mourinho, knocked Guardiola’s Barcelona out in the semi-finals on the way to winning a treble of their own in 2010, but this will be the Italians’ first meeting with City.
Three-time European champions Inter have kept a tournament-high eight clean sheets in 12 matches so far, with goalkeeper Andre Onana their standout performer.
Simone Inzaghi’s side also possesses a potent strike force. Led by Lautaro Martinez, who has 28 goals and 11 assists from 58 games this season, the Italians also have former Manchester City striker Edin Dzeko and Romelu Lukaku – who has not started a game in Europe this season – to call upon.
Manchester City striker Erling Haaland who has had a stunning first season in English football since joining from Borussia Dortmund last summer is desperate to add the Champions League to his trophy haul
He has broken the Premier League record for most goals in a season with 36 and has scored 52 times in all competitions at a rate of a goal every 78 minutes.
The Norway international has been named the Football Writers’ Association (FWA) men’s footballer of the year and is the first player to win the Premier League player and young player of the year awards in the same season.
Winning the Champions League final is worth €20 million (£17m/$22m) and the runner-up receives €15.5 million (£13m/$17m). The overall prize money given to the winner is much more than that, however, as rewards are accumulated each round depending on performance.4 days ago