City, Chelsea and an Istanbul extravaganza

  • Manchester City and Chelsea will contest the UEFA Champions League final
  • Winners will reach the FIFA Club World Cup™
  • We bring you posts, stats, quotes and trivia about the teams

What they said

“I’m incredibly proud. To win against a team that beat Barcelona and Bayern Munich means a lot to us. This is for the players before us: Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee. And those here when I arrived: Joe Hart, Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, David Silva. Many, many players helped us to this stage and the guys from Abu Dhabi. I want to share it with all of them.”
Pep Guardiola

“Fantastic performance. I’m happy, very, very happy that we achieved this. I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to live my life in football and this profession. It’s not done yet – we want to arrive in Istanbul to win.”
Thomas Tuchel

Semi-final stars

Riyad Mahrez

Several City players were outstanding in part two – Ruben Dias and Phil Foden particularly – but Mahrez was over both legs, terrorising his adversaries with his indecipherable trickery and scoring three of his side’s four goals.

“Riyad is an extraordinary player – big talent, huge quality, especially in the big games he is always ready. The players in these stages are judged how they behave in the biggest scenarios, the big tests. He loves it and enjoys it. Three goals over the tie, he deserves big compliments.”
Pep Guardiola

N’Golo Kante

Mason Mount delivered another emphatic contribution, but the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ winner was outstanding at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium and followed it up with another infallible display at Stamford Bridge. Kante has evolved from one of the best holding players on the planet into a model of midfielder that doesn’t exist elsewhere.

KDB at the Bridge

Chelsea signed Kevin De Bruyne from Genk in January 2012, before sending him on loan to the Belgian side for six months and then Werder Bremen for a year. New manager Jose Mourinho insisted the playmaker was a big part of his plans for 2013/14, but despite a man-of-the-match performance against Hull City on the opening day of the season, De Bruyne suffered the ignominy of not even making the Blues bench for the UEFA Super Cup against Bayern Munich 12 days later. He left the club having started just two Premier League games.

Chelsea back-up goalkeeper Willy Caballero spent three years at City, famously saving three penalties against Liverpool in their shootout triumph in the League Cup decider in 2015.

Kevin De Bruyne at Chelsea
© imago images

Manchester City will ensure a team makes its first appearance in the Champions League final for the third season running after Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain did so in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The previous ten finals had been void of a fixture debutant.

Previous final meetings

The two teams have only met once in a major final: the League Cup in 2019. Following a goalless draw, City won 4-3 on penalties in a contest best remembered for Kepa Arrizabalaga defying Maurizio Sarri’s attempt to substitute him.

One-nation finals

2000: Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia
2003: AC Milan 0-0 Juventus (3-2 on penalties)
2008: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 on penalties)
2013: Bayern Munich 4-1 Borussia Dortmund
2014: Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid
2016: Real Madrid 1-1 Atletico Madrid (5-3 on penalties)
2019: Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

The venue

The Ataturk Olympic Stadium hosted arguably the most thrilling final in Champions League history: Liverpool’s implausible-comeback, penalty-shooting victory over AC Milan in 2005.


Ten successive Champions League finals will feature both sides in their first-choice shirts after Manchester City and Chelsea made it to Istanbul. Manchester United were the last team to wear their away jersey in the fixture in a 3-1 loss to Barcelona in 2011.

Did you know?

  • Thomas Tuchel, who masterminded Paris Saint-Germain’s runners-up campaign in 2019/20, has become the first coach in the competition’s history to reach the final in back-to-back seasons with different clubs.
  • Carlo Ancelotti and Zinedine Zidane have won a joint-record three Champions League titles as a coach. Guardiola will equal them if City triumph and become only the fifth coach to win the competition with multiple clubs after Ottmar Hitzfeld, Jose Mourinho, Jupp Heynckes and Ancelotti.
  • Fernandinho was handed a surprise start against PSG on his 36th birthday. Phil Foden will turn 21 one day before the final.

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