Pretty Woman makes Pep Guardiola’s day as Julia Roberts hails Man City champions
Pep Guardiola’s joy at winning the Champions League may have been trumped by a message of congratulations from one of his idols Julia Roberts.
Manchester City said on social media that “@PepTeam will be buzzing at this!” after Hollywood star Roberts used Instagram to applaud the Spaniard for masterminding Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Inter Milan.
“Congratulations @pepteam for leading your team to be UCL champions. #pep #soccermom” said the Ocean’s Twelve and Pretty Woman actor.
It is the acknowledgement that Guardiola has been desperately seeking after he revealed in March the angst caused when Roberts once chose to visit Manchester United rather than watch his City team.
“If I win the Champions League three times in a row I will be a failure,” said Guardiola after RB Leipzig had been thrashed 7-0 to secure a place in the quarter-finals.
“I have three idols in my life. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, and Julia Roberts. These are my three idols.
“Julia Roberts years ago came to Manchester – not in the 90s when Sir Alex (Ferguson) was winning titles and titles and titles. She came in the period where we were better than United, in these four or five years, right?
“And she went to visit Man United. She didn’t come to see us. That’s why even if I win the Champions League it will not compare for the fact that Julia Roberts came to Manchester and didn’t come to see us.
“Even if I win the Champions League it will not compare to this disappointment I had.”
Gareth Southgate believes England can benefit from Manchester City’s clinching the Champions League for the first time.
Southgate has included five members of Pep Guardiola’s side in his squad for this month’s Euro 2024 qualifiers against Malta and North Macedonia, with John Stones, Jack Grealish, Phil Foden, Kyle Walker and Kalvin Phillips all due to join up with the squad after enjoying their celebrations.
With City’s success coming after Declan Rice lifted the Europa Conference League with West Ham earlier in the week, Southgate said it can be good for the national team.
“It’s absolutely brilliant for all our guys who have been involved,” boss Southgate said in a video on England’s social media.
“To start with Declan, his first experience of lifting a trophy so… fabulous for him. You can see the emotion having been at the club for so long and what it meant to him.
“Then the boys at Manchester City have had a phenomenal season, an absolutely incredible season, and of course that’s been the Holy Grail for them to get this final trophy that they hadn’t won up until now.
“I’m delighted for all of them. It’s great to see them enjoying themselves and also it’s brilliant for us as a group.
“We’ve got so many experiences now of individual players winning big trophies, and that’s so important for our development as a team. It’s fantastic on all counts.”