Soccer-Rodri says he is playing his best as Man City eye European glory

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - FA Cup Final - Manchester City v Manchester United - Wembley Stadium, London, Britain - June 3, 2023 Manchester City's Rodri celebrates with the trophy after winning the FA Cup REUTERS/Carl Recine/File Photo

(Reuters) - Manchester City's Rodri says he is playing his best soccer as his team bids to claim a historic treble when the Premier League champions face Inter Milan in Saturday's Champions League final.

The 26-year-old Spanish midfielder and his team mates can achieve sporting immortality against Inter in Istanbul, where City can be crowned European champions for the first time and match arch-rivals Manchester United's 1998-99 still treble.

Rodri joined City in 2019 from Atletico Madrid in a deal worth around 50 million pounds ($62.1 million) and has won three top-flight titles.

"I feel in the best moment - physically, mentally, the way I understand the game," Rodri told reporters after they beat United 2-1 in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

"I have tried to grow and learn. This is my fourth year, and there have been lots of lessons. I feel more mature.

"But you have to win. It's not only about playing well, it is about being part of a winning team."

Rodri said that City have "tried to learn a lot from the past" after coming closer to European glory in the past seasons.

City featured in the 2020-21 Champions League final, where they suffered a 1-0 defeat against Chelsea in Porto.

But City are now the favourites to beat Inter after winning their fifth Premier League title in six seasons last month.

"Pep said you will not be 'big, big' if you don't win in Europe. It's the exam we have to pass again," Rodri added.

"It's another final and we are ready. I'm going to push the guys to be ourselves, be confident, try our best and fight for the final."

($1 = 0.8056 pounds)

(Reporting by Pearl Josephine Nazare in Bengaluru; Editing by Stephen Coates)

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