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Rains fail to dampen treble parade

MANCHESTER, United Kingdom: Manchester was bathed in blue on Monday as even a thunder storm and torrential rain could not stop thousands of Manchester City fans celebrating a treble with their heroes.

City became just the second side to win the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in the same season after beating Inter Milan 1-0 in Istanbul on Saturday to become European champions for the first time.

Despite a delay to the festivities caused by the stormy weather, the streets of the city centre were still crammed to pay tribute to manager Pep Guardiola and his players.

LET IT RAIN Manchester City’s Spanish midfielder Rodri holds the European Cup as he celebrates with teammates their three trophies including the FA Cup and the Premier League ones during an open-top bus victory parade in the streets of Manchester, northern England on Monday, June 12, 2023. Manchester City tasted Champions League glory at last on Saturday as a second-half Rodri strike gave the favorites a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan in a tense final, allowing Pep Guardiola’s side to complete a remarkable treble. Having already claimed a fifth Premier League title in six seasons, and added the FA Cup, City are the first English club to win such a treble since Manchester United in 1999. PHOTO BY PAUL ELLIS/AFP

“What a parade,” said Guardiola. “It has to be like that, no sunshine. We want rain. The perfect way.”

Erling Haaland was just one of City's stars who appeared on stage topless, while England duo Jack Grealish and Kalvin Philips appeared to be suffering the effects of 48 hours of celebration.

“I've had the best 24 hours, day and night,” said Grealish. “I don't think I've slept.”

The City delegation jetted back from Istanbul to Manchester on Sunday but many of the squad immediately headed off on a private jet to Ibiza for a second night of partying.

For City supporters there was the extra glee in ensuring Manchester United's 1998/99 treble is no longer a unique achievement.

The blue half of Manchester lived in the shadow of their neighbours for decades as Alex Ferguson built a dynasty at Old Trafford in 27 years in charge of United between 1986 and 2013.

But an Abu Dhabi-backed takeover of City in 2008 turned the tables in the rivalry as Guardiola's men have claimed five Premier League titles in six seasons to become the dominant force of English football.

“How times have changed,” said office worker Sarah Morris, 27. “This is like the dream. I could never have imagined this.”

Even those not old enough to remember United's treble think it may never get any better for City having finally ended their wait for Champions League glory.

“I'm 21, but it can't get any better than this. It's all downhill from here”, said student Tom Kennedy, bedecked in a City bucket hat and shirt.

For the older generation, there is still a sense of disbelief at how City have gone on to conquer Europe.

In the season United did their treble 24 years ago, City were in the third tier of English football.

“It's unbelievable,” said retired fan Gary Henley, 63. “We've been down the leagues, we've been there when we didn't win anything for ages.

“We went 35 years without a trophy. Now we've won the treble. It's unreal.”

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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