Manchester City is trying to win its first Champions League title. Inter Milan has lifted the trophy three times already.
They square off in Istanbul on Saturday in European club soccer’s biggest game.
Pep Guardiola’s team has won the Premier League title and FA Cup this season. Inter, the underdog, stands in the way of City’s treble of trophies. The Serie A team has a more storied history in Europe, though this is its first final since winning in 2010 under Jose Mourinho.
An estimated 450 million viewers are expected to watch from around the world.
And among the VIPs at Ataturk Olimpiyat Stadium will be Man City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Since Abu Dhabi’s ruling family bought City in 2008, he has attended only one other game — a 3-0 win over Liverpool at Etihad Stadium in August 2010.
Victory on Saturday would be the crowning achievement for City, which has won 16 trophies in 15 years under Abu Dhabi backing.
While Pep Guardiola has overseen an era of dominance in English soccer, he is yet to lead the club to success in Europe.
“It’s absolutely a dream,” he said. “To achieve things you always have to have the correct proportion of obsession and desire. It’s a positive word for the desire and will to win it. It is of course a dream for us.”
Despite being underdog, Inter goes into the game on the back of winning the Italian Cup and Italian Super Cup this season.
The Italian club is aiming for its fourth Champions League title.
“We know Manchester City right now is probably the best team in the world,” Inter coach Simone Inzaghi said. “They have proved that because they have been defeated very few times. We are also aware of our Champions League campaign. We are proud of what we did and will do our very best to play the final in a highly concentrated way.”
James Robson is at https://twitter.com/jamesalanrobson