Kevin De Bruyne's pre-match routine, Jack Grealish's training ground 'walkies' and Kyle Walker's emotional message before the Champions League final - 10 things we learned from Man City's new Netflix documentary


Manchester City became just the second English team to win a continental treble when they claimed their Champions League following a 1-0 win over Inter Milan. 

The Cityzens had already boxed off their third Premier League title on the bounce and had the joy of dispatching their Manchester rivals in the final of the FA Cup. 

But, as with life, in the world of football time moves fast. Already Pep Guardiola’s side are doing their upmost to reclaim all three trophies that were gleefully lifted aloft last term. 

Here, Mail Sport’s Jack Gaughan takes a look at 10 things we noticed from the behind-the-scenes show. 

Man City won the first Champions League in their history to complete a historic treble last year

Man City won the first Champions League in their history to complete a historic treble last year

A new documentary charting City's path to glory has given a glimpse into their dressing room

A new documentary charting City’s path to glory has given a glimpse into their dressing room

It also provides unrivalled behind-the-scenes access into the inner workings of the club

It also provides unrivalled behind-the-scenes access into the inner workings of the club

Jack Grealish took in the acclaim of the City fans in the rain during the trophy parade in June

Jack Grealish took in the acclaim of the City fans in the rain during the trophy parade in June

Grealish and his cockapoo

Before he purchased a new property in Cheshire earlier this season, Jack Grealish was in the same apartment building as Erling Haaland and Kalvin Phillips near the famous Northern Quarter in the city centre.

It had its advantages. A five-minute drive to work for one. But a lack of green spaces to take his cockapoo, Skye. So he used the training ground for walkies instead.

‘There are not a lot of parks for her – and me, really – to just walk around and do stuff.’

Do stuff did go one further when Syke defecated on a first-team training pitch. Fortunately City don’t have the need to install one of those red refuse bins on campus now Grealish’s moved to the suburbs.

Jack Grealish's relationship with his cockapoo Skye was a heartwarming feature of the show

Jack Grealish’s relationship with his cockapoo Skye was a heartwarming feature of the show

Grealish and Skye went for walks at City's training ground before he moved to the suburbs

Grealish and Skye went for walks at City’s training ground before he moved to the suburbs

KDB’s pre-match routine

Kevin De Bruyne might look like one of the more intense midfielders in the sport, huffing and puffing his way through the biggest of games, but that’s in stark contrast to his attitude an hour before kick off.

City’s dressing room is alive with footballs pinging around and general motivational comments from the usual suspects (Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias) but De Bruyne is oblivious. He leaves getting changed quite late and just sticks his headphones on, often found playing the basic video game Candy Crush on his phone. He says he focuses on that to stop him fidgeting.

Kevin De Bruyne likes to stay relaxed before a game and often plays Candy Crush on his phone

Kevin De Bruyne likes to stay relaxed before a game and often plays Candy Crush on his phone

‘It doesn’t matter that you play s***’

Pep Guardiola can be quite self-reflective and in the documentary talked briefly about his attitude towards the players during the 2021 Champions League final in Porto.

City lost 1-0 against Chelsea and the manager decided to aggressively get stuck into his players at half time, which didn’t garner the expected response. So he switched it up. ‘I controlled my emotions much better (this time),’ he claimed.

In Istanbul, with it goalless, Rodri had gone inside perturbed after an uncharacteristically poor display. ‘Rodri, you are exceptional, it doesn’t matter that you play s***,’ Guardiola told him. Maybe not aggressive but certainly cutting. It did work though, in fairness.

Erling Haaland had already turned to Rodri and told him to not to worry because Guardiola ‘will change it, relax’. He wasn’t wrong, Guardiola had predicted that Inter would offer space at the byline and had told Rodri to loiter in on the edge of the box for a pullback.

The impact of Pep Guardiola's team talks on Man City's treble success were also revealed

The impact of Pep Guardiola’s team talks on Man City’s treble success were also revealed 

Walker’s moving message

Walker’s omission from the starting XI was the big shock that night but the right back had been given time to get his head around the fact after Guardiola broke his own usual custom by announcing the team 24 hours earlier.

The veteran wanted to be the last one to speak before City went out to create history. ‘I’m not great at these things,’ he told the huddle. ‘Make my dreams come true.’ Guardiola revealed that he would never forget Walker’s words.

Kyle Walker was a shock omission from the Manchester City starting XI in the final against Inter

Kyle Walker was a shock omission from the Manchester City starting XI in the final against Inter

Don’t get on Rodri’s bad side 

Rodri might be the hottest head in the City squad which, given his penchant for a yellow card this season, should come as no great surprise.

That was made clear throughout the documentary, with the Spaniard taking aim at TV pundits before a match at Leeds before New Year, aggressively suggesting to his teammates that the way in which Arsenal were being spoken about showed a lack of respect towards City.

And in a fit of rage after drawing 1-1 at Nottingham Forest, a day when Haaland and Phil Foden were guilty of missing huge chances, he tore into those around him.

‘We don’t want it, we don’t want this league,’ he screamed in not too dissimilar fashion to the sort of anger that can emanate from his boss. ‘We don’t want it. What are we doing guys? We miss one, we miss two. I’m not blaming anyone but if we want to win it we have to grab it.’ He forcibly shook a storage box and was left to calm down.

Rodri tore into his team-mates after they stumbled to a frustrating draw at Nottingham Forest

Rodri tore into his team-mates after they stumbled to a frustrating draw at Nottingham Forest

Gathering round to watch the Gunners

Ahead of that game at Forest, City players had huddled around Rico Lewis’s mobile phone to watch Arsenal at Aston Villa in the early kick-off. The Gunners came from behind to snatch a late victory, which appeared to deflate the few paying attention. Did it have a bearing on what unfolded at the City Ground?

Tuning in to Arsenal seemed a theme, with Nathan Ake, Riyad Mahrez and Grealish all sat in the physio room at the training ground to see Mikel Arteta’s side lose at Everton in early February.

A regular feature of the documentary saw City's players tuning in to watch Arsenal in action

A regular feature of the documentary saw City’s players tuning in to watch Arsenal in action 

Alvarez gets special treatment 

That physio room had a new addition after the winter World Cup, with somebody setting up a special corner for Argentina’s Julian Alvarez.

Quiet and shy around the camp, Alvarez looked a little taken aback when it was revealed to him that there had been a buzzer placed next to one of the massage tables specifically for him. Alvarez was told that his status as a World Cup winner meant he should push it and beckon one of the masseurs whenever he felt the need for treatment.

It’s unlikely that he took the offer up beyond a first go.

Julian Alvarez received special treatment after helping Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar

Julian Alvarez received special treatment after helping Argentina win the World Cup in Qatar 

Anyone for a Bovril? 

Alvarez certainly didn’t fancy a cup of Bovril when City beat Bristol City in the FA Cup at Ashton Gate. Grealish had become obsessed by the presence of an English football staple, claiming he hadn’t tasted one in years, and went around to the foreign stars begging them to try some.

Manuel Akanji likened it to soup rather than gravy, Grealish took what seemed like a full box home for himself and Alvarez politely declined the invitation. He’d rather – and rightly – stick to Mate, the South American herbal brew. Not quite as much salt in that.

Jack Grealish's larger-than-life character was on display throughout, like when he attempted to make many of his teammates try a cup of Bovril when City beat Bristol City at Ashton Gate

Jack Grealish’s larger-than-life character was on display throughout, like when he attempted to make many of his teammates try a cup of Bovril when City beat Bristol City at Ashton Gate

Games galore at the City football academy 

There are constant games ongoing at the City Football Academy which do appear, from afar, to help morale. Table tennis has always been fiercely competitive, especially when Mahrez and Raheem Sterling were around. 

Players often make their own up, like one involving a ball and a wall that Mahrez and Grealish devised. But last year there was also a basketball hoop erected next to a training pitch. Guardiola, an avid fan of the NBA, couldn’t help himself from shooting. He didn’t seem too bad.

Constant games are ongoing at the City Football Academy which do appear to help morale

Constant games are ongoing at the City Football Academy which do appear to help morale

The documentary portrays the Treble winners dressing room as one full of life and harmony

The documentary portrays the Treble winners dressing room as one full of life and harmony

Guardiola joined in with players as they practised penalties before the Champions League final

Guardiola joined in with players as they practised penalties before the Champions League final

Stick to coaching  

Better at three pointers than penalties, that’s for sure. City practised them in the week before Istanbul, as is customary before a final that could head for a shootout. And Guardiola later stepped up himself, with No 2 Stefan Ortega in goal.

Ortega opted against diving – presumably for fear of actually saving it – but Guardiola went straight down the middle. A slightly embarrassed Catalan moaned that his goalkeeper had chosen not to move. Ortega couldn’t really win.

  • The Netflix documentary Together: Treble winners is available to stream from 8am on April 2



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