Pep Guardiola urges Manchester City to 'write a new book' after Club World Cup win

Victory over Fluminense makes it five titles in 2023 and Spaniard says players will remember winning this trophy 'forever'

Pep Guardiola allayed fears he may be thinking of leaving Manchester City following their 4-0 win over Fluminense in the Club World Cup final. PA
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Pep Guardiola has challenged his Manchester City side to “write a new book” of history after, in his words, closing a chapter with a first Fifa Club World Cup crown.

The European champions, chasing a fifth trophy of 2023, defeated recent Copa Libertadores winners Fluminense 4-0 in the final in Jeddah on Friday.

The title represented Guardiola's 16th since joining City in 2016, and lifting him alone in the record books with an unrivalled four Club World Cup successes.

However, the first with City – the club were debuting this year in the tournament – means the Spaniard has now guided the current English champions to practically every major honour.

"I had a feeling we close a chapter, we won already all the titles,” Guardiola said on Friday night. “There is nothing else to win. I have the feeling the job is done, [it] is over.

“Enzo [Maresca] helped us to win the treble, Mikel [Arteta] in my staff, all the players from day one. Vincent [Kompany] to Kyle [Walker] as captains, all the players helped us to achieve something incredible to be here and to play this tournament."

If that sounded like a manager considering walking away from City, Guardiola, whose contract runs till 2025, quickly allayed fears, saying: "Now it's Christmas time, buy another book and start to write it again. The last eight years, it's over.”

City, who entered the Club World Cup at the semi-final stage earlier this week, equalled the largest margin of victory in the final, emulating Guardiola’s Barcelona in 2011.

Against Fluminense, City got off to the perfect start at King Abdullah Sports City when Julian Alvarez scored in the very first minute. Guardiola’s men doubled their lead just before the half hour, when Nino deflected Phil Foden’s cross into his own goal.

Foden then got in on the act, sliding home Alvarez’s low cross with 18 minutes remaining. Alvarez, a World Cup winner with Argentina 12 months ago, rounded off the result two minutes from time.

"We don't do a parade [in Manchester], but I said to the players this trophy you will remember forever," Guardiola said.

"It means you are the best team in one year in the world. It's unique and special. It's really cool.

"I'm really pleased for many people in the club for many years. It's a beautiful day; I could never think when we arrived in Manchester we could do this and finish with the [Club] World Cup."

Meanwhile, City’s victory continued European dominance of the tournament; the past 11 winners of the competition, which concludes this year in its present guise, have come from Uefa.

The Club World Cup will expand to 32 teams from 2025, and be played every four years.

"Money makes a lot of things easier," Fluminense manager Fernando Diniz said. "With money you can have the best pitches, structures, players, and you put together everything you have.

"In terms of the cash flow of the clubs this is really different for our clubs compared to the Champions League."

Updated: December 23, 2023, 7:47 AM