Pep Guardiola is primed to end obsession and claim elusive prize for Man City
Pep Guardiola sat down and folded his arms in front of him. Folded them tight. He listened to the first question. It was about the Champions League and whether winning it has become a dream or an obsession.
His arms stayed folded. The red stripes on his tracksuit top blazed in the artificial light.
It is absolutely a dream, he said. It is about obsession and desire. Then he paused for a second while he thought about what he had just said. Obsession is a positive word.
That is something that has changed this year as Guardiola and City have swept all before them in their pursuit of a Treble that only Manchester United have achieved before and a Champions League trophy that City have never won in their long and undulating history.
In the past, as the biggest prize in club football kept slipping away from them against Liverpool and Lyon and Chelsea and Real Madrid, season after season, Guardiola seemed reluctant to acknowledge how important it was to win the Champions League.
Now, as City prepare to face Inter Milan at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium on Saturday night, that pretence has gone. City need to beat Simone Inzaghis side to be admitted to the elite of world football and Guardiola needs to win to confirm his place as the worlds leading manager.