Pep Guardiola hails ‘special’ Man City squad after clinching Premier League title

‘This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won’

Tom Kershaw@trlkershaw
Tuesday 11 May 2021 20:50
<p>Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola</p>

Manchester City head coach Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola hailed his “special” Manchester City squad after they were crowned champions on Tuesday evening.

Manchester United’s defeat against Leicester meant City’s long-awaited return to the pinnacle of English football was finally confirmed, with their Champions League final against Chelsea still to come. Guardiola’s side had at one stage appeared out of the title race completely, languishing as low as ninth in December, however, a 15-game winning run saw them surge to the top as their challengers melted away.

It is City’s third title in the last four years, but Guardiola admitted this “relentless” season had been “the hardest one”.

“This has been a season and a Premier League title like no other,” said Guardiola. “This was the hardest one. We will always remember this season for the way that we won.

“I’m so proud to be the manager here and of this group of players. They are so special. To come through this season – with all the restrictions and difficulties we’ve faced – and show the consistency we have is remarkable.

“It’s relentless. Every single day, they are there, fighting for success, trying always to be better. They have been so, so resilient.

“That is equally true of each and every member of our backroom staff, who have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that our players are fully equipped to take on the unexpected challenges and new routines throughout such a turbulent year.

“At the start of every season, the Premier League is the most important title for us. This is the one where you have to be there every three days, playing all your rivals, home and away. Only by being the very best, week-in, week-out, can you win this competition. It’s a huge success.

“It’s so important to say a huge thank-you to all our fans. In our toughest moments, we couldn’t hear the crowd get behind us as usual. But we know they are with us everywhere we go and that’s lifted us. I promise them we sense their love, we appreciate it and we could not have done what we have done without it.

“I hope we can all celebrate together one day not too far away. It has been such a hard year for so many people. This one is really for our fans and for Colin Bell and all his family.”

City’s captain, Fernandinho, said regaining the title was “the ultimate fulfilment” of his side’s ambitions and vowed to bring a long-coveted Champions League trophy back to the Etihad.

“I’m so proud and so happy with what we have achieved. The Premier League is the hardest league in world football – every single game is tough,” he said.

“To win it again means the world to me and the rest of the squad. To captain this team is an honour and a privilege because the players have given their all throughout season, whether in training or in matches. The teamwork has been amazing.

“Football is everything to us and we strive every single day to be as good as we can be in the hope we can bring success to Manchester City.

“Winning the Premier League title is the ultimate fulfilment of our ambitions. It’s what we all dreamed of as young players, so to do it is a wonderful feeling.

“We have missed the fans so much. We wanted to do this for them. We will enjoy this moment and we hope the fans do too.

“Rest assured we will continue to do everything we can to bring the Champions League home this season.”

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