Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola pays tribute to his squad ahead of FA Cup Final

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Pep Guardiola and his team return to Wembley for the FA Cup Final on Saturday

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It’s been quite a journey getting to the Final.

It started back in January with the win over Rotherham and in total we’ve won five games, scoring 20 goals along the way.

It’s been really enjoyable watching my players play with freedom and attacking intent, something I always encourage.

The win at Swansea was perhaps the most pulsating and testing game we’ve had on our way to the Final.

To be 2-0 down at half time is never easy, but this group of players have huge character and personality. That was another example of how we never give up – we always fight to the end and continue believing we can win.

And now we’re here for the Final against Watford, who’ve had a brilliant season. To finish so high up the table and reach a Cup Final is testament to the organisation and direction of the football club.

Guardiola with his opposite number, Javi Gracia, when City met Watford in the league this season

Javi Gracia is a man and manager I respect a lot, and it will be a pleasure to be in the opposite dugout to him on such a magnificent occasion.

For me personally, this is a very special day. I remember watching FA Cup Finals when I was younger in Catalonia and it always looked so beautiful and inspiring.

Every manager in world football would want to lead a team out in this magnificent stadium and have a chance to fight for a cup that has so much tradition and meaning. I’m a very lucky guy.

This week’s preparations have been good. I love my players for what they have done this season and the past few days have been exactly the same.

They work so hard, which as a manager is all you can ask. Whatever happens on Saturday, I’m proud of the season we have had.

City have won this competition five times and I want to make sure we do everything possible to make it six.

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