From league champions to European champions and now world champions, Manchester City added a fifth trophy in 2023 to their bulging collection when they beat Fluminense 4-0 in Friday’s Club World Cup final to cap their remarkable year.
City are the first English club to simultaneously hold the Premier League, FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup crowns — which delighted manager Pep Guardiola hailed as an “outstanding achievement”.
“I am so proud of this Club. What we have done is an outstanding achievement,” Guardiola said. “To win this trophy is to be the best team in the world. As a manager it is what I am most proud of, that we are always there. No matter how much we win, no matter what trophies we lift, we are there again to fight for the next one.”
Julian Alvarez netted a brace and City never let their Brazilian opponents find their groove.
What appeared to be a serious knee injury to Rodri was the one damper on an otherwise festive night for City, whose players exchanged huge hugs on the pitch after the victory.
City’s season was already outstanding when they completed the treble by beating Inter Milan in the Champions League final in June, but they have since added two trophies in the Super Cup and Club World Cup.
“To win the treble was truly special, but to win two more trophies and now hold these five major titles shows the unique mentality of this team, of the club and its fans,” Guardiola said. “It is something no other English team has ever achieved and we will always remember this incredible time we spent together.”
Guardiola is the first manager to win the Club World Cup with three teams, guiding Barcelona to victory in 2009 and 2011, and Bayern Munich in 2013.
City players will have a “World Champions 2023” badge embroidered on their shirts for their next Premier League match on Wednesday at Everton, the club said in a release. A banner has already been raised at Etihad Stadium.
“We’ve shown over the past 12 months we are the best team in the world,” City captain Kyle Walker said. “Our results prove that and the consistency we have managed has been amazing.”
City now turn their attentions back to the Premier League, where they have been anything but consistent. Guardiola’s team are fourth in the table with only one win in their last five games.
A serious injury to Rodri would be a big blow for City, who are already without league-leading scorer Erling Haaland due to a nagging foot injury.