Pep Guardiola said Manchester City’s first Champions League title was “written in the stars” and praised the club for sticking with him when others might have sacked him for taking so long to become champions of Europe.
Guardiola lifted the trophy in Istanbul on Saturday after a 1-0 win over Inter secured by Rodri’s 68th-minute goal.
“Inter are really good. Be patient, I said at half-time. You have to be lucky. This competition is a coin toss,” Guardiola said.
“It was written in the stars. It belongs to us.”
This season was Guardiola’s seventh attempt to win the Champions League with City and he believes his previous failures might have earned him the sack at other clubs.
“First of all my first words are for Inter, to congratulate them for their performance,” Guardiola told a news conference.
“The second thing is for my sport director, CEO and chairman. Normally when you don’t win the Champions League after so many years you are sacked.
“One of the main reasons why this club became where we are is the people from Abu Dhabi. Sheikh Mansour [bin Zayed Al Nahyan] took over the club and without that we wouldn’t be here. They are the most important people.
“They support me unconditionally in the defeats in this competition. In many clubs that would happen and you are sacked so I give incredible credit to my hierarchy to my CEO.”
Success in the Champions League also completed City’s treble after also winning the Premier League title and the FA Cup.
And Guardiola revealed that on Saturday morning he received a message from the only other manager to lead an English side to the treble, former Manchester Untied boss Sir Alex Ferguson.
“It is an honour for me to be alongside Sir Alex Ferguson. I have to say I got a message from him this morning on my phone that touched me a lot.”
The questions about when Guardiola would next win the Champions League have followed the 52-year-old since he last won it with Barcelona in 2011.
He admitted after beating Inter it was “a relief” to win it again but says he’s now targeting more.
“I don’t want after one Champions League to disappear,” he added.
“We have to work hard next season and be there. There are teams who win the Champions League and disappear. We have to avoid it. Knowing me, it is not going to happen but it is a big relief to have this trophy. Now we don’t get asked about it.”