Coming up against a glass ceiling in the Champions League, Manchester City meet masters of competition Real Madrid on Tuesday. The club with huge means has never won a competition since the arrival of Emirates in 2008.
Manchester City, and its trophy cabinet devoid of any Champions League side, will face the competition’s monster, Real Madrid, this Tuesday with no less than 13 cups with big ears. A history that Pep Guardiola prefers to forget, so as not to relive last year’s gloom. “If we have to play against their history, we won’t have a chance. They are better at this level. But we want to face them, it’s an incredible test”, he admitted to the pre-match press conference.
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2 billion, 16 titles and no European
The story is playing against an English club. Since the acquisition of the club in 2008 by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the half-brother of the Emir of Abu Dhabi, Deputy Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and the richest man in British football, Manchester City has written everything similar in its history. Most Beautiful Page won 16 titles in 14 years, where the Nationals had won only twelve in their last 128 years. The trophies were won at the golden price, as the Emirates have spent two billion euros in 14 years, more than the Qataris at PSG. Including an Arab since the arrival of Pep Guardiola in 2016, who won 10 of 16 new era titles alone.
However, the club has only one European trophy: a Cup Winners’ Cup won in 1970. Manchester City, still waiting for their Champions League side, have done nothing better than the final so far, since the Faroese investment initiated by Pep Guardiola in 2016. , having lost 0-1 to Chelsea last season. Otherwise the Sky Blues have only one semi-final, they lost to… Real Madrid, a 2-0 aggregate score in 2015–2016, when Manuel Pellegrini was still on the Mancunian bench. Among the disappointments since the arrival of Pep Guardiola: elimination in the round of 16 against AS Monaco (in 2016-17), a 4-4 favor to Tottenham next season against their current rivals for the title in the Premier League Liverpool With an away goal that ends City and the famous quarter-finals won by OL in Final 8.
A semi-final that satisfies Guardiola is still in the midst of a battle with Liverpool in the league
In 2009 and 2011, Pep Guardiola found the recipe leading to the title in the Champions League with FC Barcelona, but he was never able to replicate the equation off his ground. And this despite a workforce similar to his profile at Bayern, or by a team he built from scratch in his image at City. “In recent years, we have participated in the Champions League, we have passed the group stage, we have reached the round of 16, the semi-finals … It is a process, assured the Catalan coach. It was great to be here . . With the best in Europe, it represents something very beautiful and it forces us to compete, to play two extraordinary matches to get to the final.” A quiet speech while Manchester City are still in the race to win the Premier League.
And that’s probably the biggest difference between him and his opponents of the evening. Carlo Ancelotti’s men, largely leaders since Barca’s loss against Rio (0-1), only have to win against Espanyol this weekend to be officially champions. Yet another factor that will boost Real Madrid’s confidence which seems mentally unimaginable after all their comebacks this season. For their part, Manchester City will have to go back to the same point with Liverpool, with five league days still to play. A Premier League where there are battles every season, and where European competitions find it difficult to see a title there without dropping a feather.