Manchester City won their first Club World Cup after defeating Fluminense

<p>Manchester City ended an incredible year by winning their fifth title of 2023 on Friday, defeating Brazilian team Fluminense 4-0. Julian Alvarez scored the quickest goal ever in a Club World Cup final.</p>
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<p>This year, Pep Guardiola’s club had previously won the FA Cup, Premier League, Champions League, and UEFA Super Cup. However, they were missing injured striker Erling Haaland from the international competition.</p>
<p>After eight years as the club’s manager, the Spaniard implied that his tenure could be coming to an end when he said that “the job was done” and “there was nothing else to win”.</p>
<p>I feel like we’ve finished a chapter. At a press conference, Guardiola said, “We’ve already won every title.” “There is nothing more to be gained. I feel like the work is finished and over.”</p>
<p>After joining City in 2016, Guardiola won 16 championships with the team. With eighteen months remaining on his contract, he continued, saying he wanted to start a new chapter with the squad.</p>
<p>“Now that Christmas is here, get a new book and go to work on it once again. It’s over for the last eight years,” he said.</p>
<p>“I’m calling it a day after eight years of amazing work behind the scenes. On the aircraft today, we rejoice; tomorrow, we relax.</p>
<p>“The players are still driven and ravenous.” It’s an incredibly lovely day.”</p>
<p>“To win these five trophies—for me, the five biggest prizes available to us—is incredible,” Captain Kyle Walker said.</p>
<p>I can honestly say that playing with these individuals is an honor; I couldn’t ask for finer teammates. I am really pleased to have been a part of this.</p>
<p>“It’s really, really hard to win consistently, so to be sat here today having won the (five titles) is really special and a huge achievement.”</p>
<p>Forty seconds after kickoff, Alvarez had the visiting City supporters roaring. Nathan Ake’s long drive was well-pushed against the post by goalkeeper Fabio, but Alvarez was there to the rebound, going down on his hands and knees to chest it in.</p>
<p>In the 27th minute, Nino scored an own goal as he diverted Phil Foden’s strike into the net.</p>
<p>In the 72nd minute, Foden scored the game’s winning goal after sliding to tap in a powerful cross from Alvarez across the box.</p>
<p>“The match was amazing,” Foden said to “The boys showed not just talent but also passion and tenacity. I’m thrilled with how it turned out.</p>
<p>“This is crucial for the team,” he said. “I’m overjoyed. It’s enormous for the team.</p>
<p>With a shot from just inside the box to clinch his brace in the 88th, Alvarez thrilled City supporters by breaking into “Blue Moon.”</p>
<p>Guardiola became the first manager in history to lead three separate teams to Club World Cup victories after leading Barcelona to the championship in 2009 and 2011, then Bayern Munich in 2013.</p>
<p>This week, Guardiola emphasized to his squad the significance of “closing the circle” on the team’s trophies and accomplishing a “once-in-a-lifetime” objective.</p>
<p>I got the message. Fluminense, who play the traditional Brazilian short-passing possession style, was never able to get going by City.</p>
<p>“Fair play to them, I love the way they play with short passes, they didn’t make it easy for us,” remarked Foden.</p>
<p>The finest opportunity for the Brazilians would have been the penalty that referee Szymon Marciniak first gave after Ederson knocked down Paulo Henrique Ganso. However, technology revealed he was mistaken.</p>
<p>Just before halftime, Jhon Arias met a corner with a thundering header that Ederson dived across the goal to push away. Ederson, the City keeper, had little to do, but he produced a fantastic save.</p>
<p>The manager of Fluminense, Fernando Diniz, told Brazilian TV Globo, “We faced a City which has been the best team in the world for the last five years and they know how to make the most of the opportunities they create.”</p>
<p>They always hit the mark, scored goals quickly, and penalized us for our errors. We should be honored for our amazing year and for having laid the foundation for our arrival. There is nothing to be embarrassed of—it was an incredible journey.”</p>
<p>The only negative aspect of City’s evening was Rodri’s apparent knee injury, which caused him to collapse into the field after Alexsander grabbed him by the ankle. Rodri clutched the back of his knee right away. He went down again and fled the field in pain, but he was able to return to the game for a short while after getting treatment.</p>
<p>As the tournament’s top player, Rodri was given the Golden Ball and was permitted to cross the presentation stage to collect his prize. Kyle Walker, the captain of City, won the Silver Ball.</p>
<p>An enlarged 32-team format will be used in the 2025 tournament in the US.</p>

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