Former Chelsea coach Roberto Di Matteo has opined that Manchester City manager, Pep Guardiola, is afraid of Italian teams.
His statement comes as City prepare to face Inter Milan in the 2022/2023 UEFA Champions League final on Saturday June 10 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul.
Inter Milan knocked out Guardiola’s Barcelona in the semifinals of 2009/2010 Champions League winning 3-2 on aggregate.
Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport, Di Matteo who led Chelsea to knock out Guardiola’s Barcelona 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-final of 2011/2012 Champions League.
“Guardiola is more than a coach, he is more like a visionary, but he knows how competitive Italians are and fears us,” Di Matteo said
“Playing against him is very challenging. He puts quality into every system and he changes when you don’t expect it. Before the 2012 semi-final we watched dozens of Barcelona’s games, trying to understand his weak points. The result was always the same: it was impossible they would have won.
“Inter’s Drogba is my Lukaku. I knew him when he was 19 at Chelsea and I was Villas Boas’ assistant. He’s a beast and he never stops and he seems fit now.”
Inter Milan’s last Champions League final appearance was in 2009/10 season when they defeated Bayern Munich 2-0 to win the title on May 22 at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Manchester City’s last Champions League final action was in the 2020/21 season when they lost 1-0 to Chelsea on May 29 at the Estadio do Dragao.
Inter have won the Champions League thrice (1963/64, 1964/65 and 2009/10) while Man City have not won the title.