Pep Guardiola dedicated Manchester City’s first Champions League success to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Presidential Court, and the club’s hierarchy.
The English side, already Premier League champions and FA Cup winners, sealed their first European Cup on Saturday night when they defeated Inter Milan 1-0 in Istanbul.
In doing so, City became only the second club to complete that particular treble, after rivals Manchester United in 1999.
The victory represented arguably the crowning glory in City’s trophy-laden spell since the takeover in 2008 by Abu Dhabi United Group, owned by Sheikh Mansour
City had reached the Champions League final before, for the first time two years ago, but were beaten then 1-0 by Chelsea.
However, after Rodri’s second-half strike clinched the trophy, Guardiola paid tribute to City’s owners, who were in attendance at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.
“One of the main reasons why this club became what we are is because of the people from Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mansour, took over the club,” Guardiola said. “Without that, we would not be here.
“They are the most important people. They supported me unconditionally in the defeats in this competition – when that happens at other clubs, you are sacked, and it was the complete opposite.
“I give incredible credit to my hierarchy – my chairman [Khaldoon Al Mubarak] my CEO [Ferran Soriano], my sporting director [Txiki Begiristain] – because like this they have given a message to the players, all of you [in the media], the fans, to say, 'This is the way'.
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“But honestly, I'm not going to get confused by the fact that we could have lost today and it still would have been the same [support].”
Appointed in 2016, Guardiola has gone on to lead City to five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups and now the Champions League trophy.
Having finally added the one elusive crown to his already-impressive City haul, Guardiola said: “You have to win in Europe to be considered a great team and we did it.”
The Spaniard, who twice as a manager guided Barcelona to Champions League success, said the challenge now will be to build a dynasty in European football.
“I don’t want to disappear after one Champions League,” Guardiola said. “We have to work hard next season and be there.
“There are teams who win the Champions League and disappear. We have to avoid that. Knowing me it is not going to happen, but it is a big relief to have this trophy.
“It looks like this competition this year was [written] in the stars. Now is time to celebrate. I am looking forward to Monday in Manchester on our [open-top bus] parade with three trophies.”