Manchester City have finally lifted the elusive UEFA Champions League title which they have fought to win for many years.
Pep Guardiola’s legacy as a coach was hanging by a thread until the final whistle of the match on Saturday 10 June 2023 at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Turkey, despite already winning the title twice before. It took the man seven years and a trail of trophies at City to finally lift his third title without his talisman Lionel Messi and as expected, Nigerian fans have shared their opinions of the win. Here are the best of them.
1 – Pep Guardiola has won the treble for the second time in his managerial career, while he's the first ever manager to do so with two different clubs (Barcelona in 2008-09 and Manchester City in 2022-23). Greatness. #UCLFinal pic.twitter.com/Yn4YcLOFNG
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 10, 2023
Opinion: Guardiola has Completed Football
The UEFA Champions League final was followed by millions of Nigerians who were on both sides of the divide. For us at Goalball Live, we had a soft spot for Inter Milan. This is because of a future Super Eagles midfielder Ebenezer Akinsanmiro, who is making a beeline for the Nerazzuri’s first team ahaead of the 2022/23 season.
A win for Inter could have seen Akinsanmiro be part of an Inter team that would be defending the title next season and if he develops properly, Simone Inzaghi could be giving him valuable minutes in Europe’s elite competition. This would translate to a good prospect for the Nigeria national football team that our readers would enjoy reading about.
Fate had other plans, and instead, we and many other Nigerian fans who were hoping for an Inter win, will have to watch Manuel Akanji lift the Champions League. Even though Akanji never got invited to play for the Super Eagles, many Nigerians still show him support. After the season he has had, fans will begin to ask “why” to the NFF once again.
The happiest man will be Pep Guardiola, who has finally proven his detractors wrong after 12 years away from Barcelona.
Only two men's teams in English football history have won the Treble™
◉ Sir Alex Ferguson's United
◉ Pep Guardiola's City
The Manchester Immortals. pic.twitter.com/lyzFNozhvK
— Squawka (@Squawka) June 10, 2023
With 35 titles to his name as a manager, a haul which includes two trebles, a sextuple and three Champions Leagues, there is not much left to prove in management. His spending will continue to generate discussion among fans but it cannot take away from the fact that he has done what many managers have been unable to do in just 15 years as a manager. He has effectively completed football and any other argument will not hold water.
Nigerian Fans React to Guardiola’s UCL Win
Twitter is abuzz with takes on the historic win by Pep Guardiola. One fan who has been active in the debate over Guardiola’s greatness, took to Twitter at the final whistle to post: “Pep Guardiola is the greatest manager of all time. I finally admit.”
Another fan, posting mostly for banter purposes, commented: “Sir Alex Ferguson 1 treble in 273737 years. Pep Guardiola 1 treble in 7 years. What Pep has done with this Man City team tonight is greater than anything Sir Alex Ferguson has done in his career.”
Another fan whose tweets suggests he is a Chelsea supporter, put aside his bias to praise the Spaniard for hi achievement with Man City. “You can’t mention 3 top managers in the history of club football & not mention Pep Guardiola, and he’s not even number 3. GOAT of a manager!,” he posted.
You can’t mention 3 top managers in the history of club football & not mention Pep Guardiola, and he’s not even number 3. GOAT of a manager! pic.twitter.com/LMZaJv7drt
— Series ‘Baj (@Engr_Series) June 10, 2023
There are a few who reference his spending and the calibre of club she has managed to downplay the achievement, but the most popular opinion shared by most Nigerian fans is that Guardiola should be considered an all time great.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago