Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola (AP)
Manchester City are looking to be the first English side to win FA Cup, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has said the focus for his team will be to rest ahead of Friday’s FIFA Club World Cup final with Fluminense.
City booked their spot in the final of the showpiece event with a 3-0 defeat of Japanese club Urawa Red Diamonds here at the King Abdullah Sports City on Tuesday.
Guardiola’s side are just one match from becoming the first English club ever to win five trophies in a calendar year.
Speaking after the match, the 52-year-old manager was adamant he won’t be working his players too hard in the interim.
“The plan is to sleep, sleep and sleep! This is our plan. Now we have to rest. They had one more day. We will have a day off, have dinner together and create an environment that the players know how important it is for the Club,” Guardiola was quoted by City’s official website.
“To be in this final you have to do incredible things like win the Champions League. This may be the only time we play this in our lifetime. We are there. Tomorrow we start to watch Fluminense and see them and try to do a good performance,” he added.
Guardiola also warned his players that there is still a huge hurdle to get over if they are to lift the trophy for the first time.
“We didn’t win it (FIFA Club World Cup). It’s the first time Manchester City are here. I represent this incredible organisation and Club and now we play the final against Fluminense. This is the last step – a title the Club doesn’t have. So we’ll go for it,” added Guardiola.
City, who won their first Champions League title this year, are yet to win the Club World Cup, a trophy Guardiola won twice with Barcelona and once with Bayern Munich. The last 10 editions of the Club World Cup have been won by European sides and City will be firm favourites.
Haaland watched on from the stands but the Norwegian still provoked the biggest cheer of the night from a barely half-full King Abdullah Sports City Stadium when he offered the crowd a wave as he appeared on the big screens during the first half.
But City boss Pep Guardiola confirmed his top scorer will miss the final and does not know when Haaland will be fit to feature again.
The 23-year-old has already missed four matches due to a foot problem.
City have won only one of their last six Premier League matches to fall behind Arsenal and Liverpool in the title race.
And they face in-form Everton away on their return to England on December 27.
“Erling still cannot train,” said Guardiola after Haaland was left out the City squad.
Tournament rules state that the 23 players selected in the semi-final are the only players allowed to feature in the final.
Kevin De Bruyne will also miss the final despite making his return to training on Monday from a four-month layoff due to a hamstring injury.
(With inputs from Agencies)