Written By Onyeka Daniel
The final of this year’s UEFA Champions League will be played in the beautiful city of Istanbul in Turkey, between English Premier League side, Manchester City and Italian side, Inter Milan, with City seen as the better team and thus expected to lift the trophy in 5 days time.
But according to Portuguese defender, Ruben Dias, would prefer that the team does not get carried away by any external expectations, and instead earn the right to be favourites.
Instead, Dias wants the Citizens to approach the Champions League final against the Nerazzurri just as they did the FA Cup final vs Manchester United, a match they won 2-1 to lift their second trophy in their treble quest this season.
They are widely backed this weekend to beat Inter Milan and win the Champions League for the first time and also do a treble that was last won by Manchester United in 1999. Reflecting on how they beat United last weekend,
Dias said: “A final will always be tight – no matter who is playing against who. From our experience, you are only favourites when you step out onto the pitch and show who you are.
“That’s the main focus we all need to have, and we showed it again [vs United]. We all knew this was not going to be an easy game.” Taking that attitude forward to the Champions League final with Inter, Dias said that part of City’s preparations will include giving enough time to celebrate the FA Cup win before reconvening on Tuesday to begin preparations for Istanbul.
“It’s something very special and we’ll be focused all in,” he said. “Now the most important thing is to celebrate. We take it, know what we have done and take the moment in a special way. We have the week to think about it and prepare it.
“It will be a very difficult game. When it comes to a final, it’s always different. We will do our best to be ready for it. But now – more than anything else – it’s time to celebrate and that’s part of starting well for the next final.” He further added.
EPL side, Chelsea are prepared to offer Senegalese defender, Kalidou Koulibaly in a cash plus player offer for Inter Milan goalkeeper, Andre Onana in the summer as Mauricio Pochettino has already identified the Cameroonian as his top choice to man the post for next season.
Koulibaly, who joined the Blues in the last summer transfer window has endured a horrible spell at the Stamford Bridge and is said to be part of massive clear out expected at the club. But due to financial fair play issues, Chelsea would rather sell off these unwanted players or use them as pawn for bigger targets.
But the player’s close tie with rival club, Napoli could prevent the move and he could even fancy a return back to Naples, where he grew and matured as a player. With South Korean defender, Kim Min-Jae tipped to join Manchester United soon, Koulibaly could be sjgned to replace him, but it won’t be near the amount Chelsea paid to sign him close to year ago.
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