epa09702918 Manchester City's Ruben Dias reacts after the English Premier League soccer match between Southampton FC and Manchester City in Southampton, Britain, 22 January 2022. EPA-EFE/VINCE MIGNOTT EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications

Manchester City defender Ruben Dias has insisted that his side ‘loves the pressure’ after being labelled by many as being the favourites to win the Champions League when they face Inter in the final in Istanbul on Saturday night. 



However, the Portuguese international also confessed that the Premier League winners can not afford to give Inter the respect they deserve during the game, aware of the fact that Simone Inzaghi’s men are capable of pouncing on opportunities. 

Speaking alongside Kevin De Bruyne and Pep Guardiola during City’s pre-match press conference on Friday evening, Dias was determined to get the job done and deliver the Champions League title in his club’s history.  

“The biggest mistake we can make is forget that this is a final,” Dias told the press in Turkey.  “People can say what they want. In my mind, there are no favourites. It will always be a final, no matter what you’ve done to reach it. You can only start to be favourite when you get on the pitch.

“This season we’ve found a special balance. Since I came, I’ve always felt that we built a very very good balance and strong team. In the end, what makes the biggest difference is what you reach at the end. 

“We’ve got two cups, we’ll do everything we can for the last one. It’s not fair to compare different seasons. Football changes, players change. We have to be the best we can every year.”

Dias was asked about the threat that Inter might pose on Saturday, with one journalist pointing out City’s two losses against Brentford this season, who, like the Nerazzurri, also play with three central defenders and two strikers. 

“There are lots of games in a season, it’s difficult to make that easy comparison,” Dias replied. “It’s just another game for us. A special one, we’ll do everything we can to be ready.

“We love the pressure since a long time, we love it. In the right measure it will make you run faster, jump higher, be more focussed. It’s what these games need, we embrace it. We enjoy the moment, know what it means to our club and fans and our families. We never forget to enjoy it.”

Despite being one game away from becoming only the second English side in history to complete the coveted treble, Dias is still wary of the challenge City will face against Inter. 

“It’s the final of the Champions League, we couldn’t expect an easy job. It wouldn’t be the final if it was an easy job. We know the strength of Inter, it’s not just one or two players. The moment we don’t give them enough respect, we make a mistake and we won’t make that mistake.”

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