Once in a 'lifetime' opportunity says Guardioal as Man City prepare for showdown against Brazil's Fluminense

City are hoping to become the fourth English club to win the Club World Cup after Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea

By Reuters

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Manchester City's Argentine forward Julian Alvarez and Urawa's Japanese midfielder Kai Shibato fight for the ball during the FIFA Club World Cup semifinal. - AFP
Manchester City's Argentine forward Julian Alvarez and Urawa's Japanese midfielder Kai Shibato fight for the ball during the FIFA Club World Cup semifinal. - AFP

Published: Wed 20 Dec 2023, 8:08 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Dec 2023, 8:09 PM

Manchester City outclassed Urawa Red Diamonds in a 3-0 victory in the King Abdullah Sports City stadium on Tuesday to set up a Club World Cup final showdown against Brazilian side Fluminense.

European champions City were frustrated by a well-organised Japanese side during the opening half but took the lead with an own goal by Marius Hoibraten in stoppage time.

Mateo Kovacic made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute with his first goal since joining City from Chelsea and Bernardo Silva's deflected shot a few minutes later meant City could play the rest of the game in cruise control.

Pep Guardiola's City, who had won only three of their previous eight games in all competitions, are looking to become the fourth English club to win the title after Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.

They will start as heavy favourites in Friday's final against Copa Libertadores champions Fluminense who on Monday beat Egypt's Al-Ahly 2-0.

"The players know how important it is for the club," Guardiola, who won the title twice with Barcelona and once with Bayern Munich, said.

"To be in this final, you have to do incredible things like win the Champions League. This may be the only time we play this in our lifetime.

"We will try to win the title we don't have to complete the circle."

City have suffered some domestic wobbles of late and have slipped off the pace in the Premier League in their quest for a fourth successive title.

By the team's attacking Spanish midfielder Rodri insists that the players are determined to put in the hard work and turn results around.

"We have to give our best to try to win everything because it will be history. It would be an amazing run if we end with five titles," Rodri said.

"(The last few games) left a very bad feeling in the changing room for us, so I think it was good for us to stop a little bit and then come here to the (Club) World Cup.

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"When you're in that moment you're in this mixture of feeling that you have failed and dropping points. It's a time when you can't speak much, you have to be quiet, work as hard as you can and results will come out," he added.


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