Manchester City scorer Rodri was named UEFA’s man-of-the-match, but goalkeeper Ederson made a strong case for the award after his inspired saves kept Inter Milan at bay in the Champions League final on Saturday.
Rodri’s cool finish in the 68th minute earned City its long-awaited first Champions League title, but only after Brazilian Ederson kept it in the match with a brilliant point-blank save to deny Lautaro Martinez.
“The defeat teaches a lot, it was five years of disappointments, we were shattered, but we picked up the pieces and rebuilt ourselves. And the new pieces that arrived helped a lot too,” Ederson told Brazilian TV channel TNT Sports.
Inter was starting to cause trouble for a nervous City when Manuel Akanji delivered a hospital pass intended for Bernardo Silva and Lautaro anticipated it to go one-on-one with Ederson.
The Brazilian keeper, however, made himself big to limit Lautaro’s angles and blocked the Argentine’s strike with his body.
After Rodri scored, Inter pressed for a late equaliser and Ederson made two brilliant stops at the death.
In the 88th minute, he kept out a point-blank header from substitute Romelu Lukaku and in the last play of the match, Ederson shone again as a corner was taken to the near post where Francesco Acerbi flicked the ball into the box and Ederson made a diving save moments before the final whistle.
“This year I dedicated myself a lot, worked hard, gave up a lot of things to be rewarded,” Ederson said.
“I am still in a state of ecstasy, I want to enjoy it now, enjoy it, enjoy it with my family too. Now it’s time to celebrate.”
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