For two simple reasons Pep Guardiola He is, to say the least, the best coach in recent years: he almost always wins and his teams have a high aesthetic sense. “Pep Guardiola is on another level”described it Carlos Puyol seconds after the 4-0 against real Madrid in the semifinals of Champions League.
“In the first leg I had decided to place an internal player further back and now I have placed him further forward. We managed to attack with greater fluidity. This year we feel very, very strong at home. I don’t know why, but we feel very at ease. We played with the stomach ache that caused us to be eliminated last year and we did it all with energy and desire. We are very happy to be in the final”Guardiola said after the victory. And followed: “At the start of the second half we ran a lot and for this reason we weren’t doing so well. But that’s normal. You see it up close, you run and it cost us more, even if in general we played an extraordinary game”.
The man born in Sampedor 52 years ago feels good against Real Madrid: he beat them 16 times, lost 5 and drew another 5. In addition, he eliminated them twice in the semifinals and once in the quarterfinals. His most memorable victories were the 6-2 defeat of Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabéu in 2009, the culé 5-0 victory at the Camp Nou in 2010 and this Wednesday’s victory at the Etihad.
It was also a round of triumph for Guardiola: he reached 100 victories in 158 Champions League matches. He is the third manager to reach that figure in the highest club-level trophy in Europe, behind Carlo Ancelotti (107 in 191 games) and Sir Alex Ferguson (102 in 190).
In the conference, the Catalan had words of praise for Rodri. “Everyone is talking about Haaland and he deserves it, but without Rodri we wouldn’t have been here. His presence is very important: he has become the best midfielder we have.” said the DT.
Finally, Guardiola spoke about the final against Lautaro Martínez’s Inter. “Well, what am I saying. An Italian team is an Italian team. We will have to fight a lot. There will be time. Now we will try to be champions of the Premier League (Sunday). But for the moment, we are already there. We have had this year”hill
For ancelotti It was also a historic game, beyond the sensational defeat (the second worst of his career at European level): he became the manager with the most Champions League games, with 191, surpassing Ferguson by one. Carletto won 107 duels, drew 43 and lost 41, scored 346 goals and scored 176. He was champion twice with Milan (2003 and 2007) and twice with Real Madrid (2014 and 2022), and lost in the final against Liverpool in 2005.
“We didn’t do what was expected, but we don’t have to make a drama. We didn’t have the chance to reach the final. We did very well this season and we will do better next season. We don’t have to talk about attitude, we lost against a team that was better than us”Ancelotti explained after the defeat. And he clarified: “We have to show our faces in the last four games. Reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League is a success, because only four arrive and there are many teams that didn’t arrive. We played against an opponent who played with more intensity and better quality in the first part. He was superior, like we were last year. It can happen in the semifinals.”.
Will Ancelotti continue in Madrid? Will the offer to lead Brazil be true? “No one doubts the future because the president was clear enough 15 days ago”, shot the Italian coach.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.