Champagne and rain poured as Manchester City’s players celebrated winning the treble of major trophies with an open-top bus parade through the city center in front of tens of thousands of fans on Monday.
The start of the evening parade was delayed because of what City called “adverse weather conditions and lightning storms” but two blue buses – complete with the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League trophies aboard – eventually wound their way through the city streets, with the players and cigar-smoking manager Pep Guardiola wearing T-shirts bearing the words “Treble Winners.”
“It had to be the best parade with this rain, otherwise this is not Manchester,” Guardiola said after the squad reached a stage on St. Peter’s Square in the middle of Manchester, led by a shirtless Erling Haaland and Ruben Dias with three medals around his neck.
“We don’t want sunshine, we want rain, so it was perfect.”
City beat Inter Milan 1-0 in the Champions League final in Istanbul on Saturday to complete the treble and emulate the achievement of Manchester United’s class of 1998-99.
It was a first Champions League title for City, along with a fifth Premier League title in six years and a second FA Cup in Guardiola’s seven-year reign.
It has been one long party since City returned from Istanbul on Sunday and the celebrations were far from over.
“For the past 24 hours I’ve had the best day and night,” City winger Jack Grealish said. “To be fair, I don’t think I’ve had any sleep.”
Elton John weighed in with a video tribute – just over a week after the 76-year-old pop icon bumped into City players on the tarmac at the Manchester airport after the FA Cup win. Players had serenaded John by signing Your Song.
“You did it, I’m so happy and thrilled for you all,” John said. “What a season, what an achievement. Enjoy the celebrations in Manchester, you deserve it.”