Pep Guardiola and Kevin De Bruyne admit winning the Champions League has become both a dream and an obsession for Manchester City.
City are on the verge of glory as they prepare for Saturday’s final in Istanbul against Inter Milan.
Guardiola’s side are strong favorites for a game which will not only see them crowned European champions for the first time but also have the potential for the treble.
The Premier League winner is hoping to put years of frustration behind him after suffering multiple near misses while chasing his most coveted prize.
De Bruyne expressed his feelings on the issue when asked if winning was a “dream” or an “obsession” as City held a pre-match press conference at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium on Friday.
“Maybe both, it depends who you ask,” said the Belgian playmaker. “Every professional player wants to win the Champions League and be at the top.
“If you can win the Champions League, you’ve achieved one of the greatest things you can achieve.”
“Competiting every year is great and I’ve had the chance to compete with the best, but we have a chance to do that if we’re good enough.”
City have reached the knockout rounds of the tournament in Guardiola’s seven seasons in charge but they have yet to fulfill their ambition.
Their second-place finish two seasons ago, when they were beaten by Chelsea in the final, is their biggest deficit to date.
Guardiola, who twice won the competition as Barcelona coach, said: “It’s absolutely a dream, yes.
“To achieve something, one must always have the right balance of obsession and desire.
“It’s a positive word for wanting and willing to win it. For us it is of course a dream.”
City’s outstanding season was fueled by goals from Erling Haaland.
The prolific Norwegian has scored 52 goals in an outstanding first season at the Etihad Stadium.
Haaland admitted he was brought to City this week to win the Champions League and Guardiola – whose two previous successes came alongside Lionel Messi at Barcelona – is hoping he proves the last piece of the puzzle.
When asked what he would advise managers looking to emulate his successes, Guardiola said: “Have good players – have Messi, have Haaland.” That’s my success. I am not joking.
“Every manager who has had success has had strong institutions and exceptional players. I’ve never scored a goal as a manager.”
Haaland does indeed come into play having scored just one goal in his last seven games but that’s no cause for concern for Guardiola.
“I have no doubts,” he said. “If you doubt Erling will score, you are a very lonely person.
“Tomorrow he will be ready to help us win the Champions League.”
Haaland has formed a strong attacking partnership with De Bruyne.
De Bruyne was cheekily asked at the press conference if it was “love at first sight” between the two.
De Bruyne said: “No. I am happy with my wife!”
He elaborated on that, adding, “You get a feel for a player and I understand what he wants.” It clicked really well. He scored an unbelievable hit rate and really got through without any problems.”
De Bruyne has been chasing success in the Champions League with City since 2015.
He said: “We’ve been consistent, we’ve been good enough but we have to find a way to win the first game. It would be immense for the club and the fans, something amazing.”