Club World Cup: Nathan Ake hails Man City's 'incredible' 2023 after winning fifth trophy

A 4-0 victory over Fluminense added the Club World Cup to Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Uefa Super Cup titles

Manchester City become World Champions routing Fluminese 4 - 0

Manchester City become World Champions routing Fluminese 4 - 0
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After rounding off an “incredible” year with Manchester City, Nathan Ake says his all-conquering side are determined to do it all over again.

The English and European champions added a global title to their impressive 2023 haul on Friday, defeating South American counterparts Fluminense 4-0 in the Fifa Club World Cup final in Jeddah.

The victory, sealed by goals from Julian Alvarez either side of a Nino own goal and a Phil Foden strike, gave City the Club World Cup crown on debut in the tournament.

It represented their fifth trophy this calendar year, after success in the Premier League, FA Cup, Uefa Champions League and Uefa Super Cup.

Speaking after the win at King Abdullah Sports City, Ake said: “It's a great feeling. We worked very hard for this, so to finally get the first one for the club and also for ourselves is great.”

Asked what will form City’s next target, the Dutch defender replied: “First of all, 2023 has been incredible. Five trophies, it’s been an incredible year, but this feeling we have now we want to recreate this. We know how it is now to win trophies, the feeling you have is the best feeling you can have.

“We want to do it again, so we’re not finished yet. We want to keep going and fight for everything.”

Ake, 28, played a pivotal role in City opening the score in the first minute against Fluminense, when his long-range effort cannoned off the post and was chested into the empty net by Alvarez.

“it was a good strike, but luckily Julian was there to finish it off,” Ake said. “It was an important one because it settled us a little bit, because they are a very tough team. To get the 1-0 was a good start.”

On Alvarez getting back among the goals – coming in the final, the Argentine had found the net eight times in 25 matches this season – Ake added: “We always know he’s capable of scoring goals, he’s done it for a couple of seasons now. We know what kind of striker he is and he’s going to be important for us going forward.”

While City will rightly enjoy the Club World Cup success – “we have to because this doesn’t come around very often,” Ake said – they return to Premier League action on Wednesday, when they travel to Goodison Park to face Everton.

By that stage, the champions could be as many as 10 points off the summit. At present, they sit fourth, five back from leaders Arsenal following a run of only one win in six league matches.

“The mood has been OK,” Ake said. “Even though we were not winning games, we weren’t playing bad, so it was just little things we had to tweak.

“But this obviously gives a little bit of a boost, and hopefully we kick on.”

It was put to Ake that City perhaps do not get enough credit for their remarkable haul of trophies this year, but he replied: “I’m not sure. I’m not really focused on that. At the club, we really appreciate what we’re doing, not just the players, but the backroom staff and the people maybe who are not in front of the camera.

“We all work very hard, and we all celebrate this together. I don’t really look at the outside, how they’re playing.”

Updated: December 23, 2023, 12:32 PM