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Champions League Final: Pep Guardiola and the Ones That Got Away

Crucially, it didn’t seem to work, a view expressed inside and open air the membership within the aftermath of the defeat to Lyon. Even Gundogan, as ardent an acolyte of Guardiola as one might hope to satisfy, used that phrase — “overcomplicate” — in an interview this week. The important thing for a final, he talked about, is “to not do something completely different or surprising: Follow the stuff that you’re satisfied by, that works for you. You don’t overcomplicate it.” The ghosts of the ultimate 4 years haven’t been absolutely exorcised, not however.

Guardiola’s analysis of his misplaced decade is barely utterly completely different, additional poetic than prosaic. Standing on the touchline at Metropolis’s Etihad Stadium a few weeks up to now, current from his group’s semifinal victory in opposition to Paris St.-Germain, he talked in regards to the Champions League with a type of dazed reverence. “On this competitors,” he talked about, “there’s something within the stars.”

The occasion he’s most eager on citing is Chelsea. In 2008, that membership would have gained its first Champions League had John Terry not slipped on turf made greasy by a downpour in Moscow. It’s a narrative Guardiola has instructed successive iterations of his squads, every in Manchester and Munich, and he launched it up as soon as extra that night, within the afterglow of victory in opposition to P.S.G., too.

This season, it feels as if the celebrities are lastly aligned behind Metropolis. Guardiola’s group goes into Saturday’s final as a convincing favorite, no matter two present defeats in opposition to Chelsea, its opponent in Porto. It cruised to the Premier League title, its third in 4 years, thanks not solely to the spirit of journey typical of Guardiola’s teams, nonetheless to a additional unusual defensive parsimony.

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