How long it was! Bought in September 2008 by an investment fund from Abu Dhabi, the Skyblues waited more than a decade to reach the final of the Champions League. When the Emirati owners took power, Manchester City were just a club used to fighting relegation. The third title of champion of England in the history of City conquered in 2012, a first since 1968, was a first turning point of this new era supposed to quickly bring the residents of the Etihad Stadium on the roof of Europe.
Neither Roberto Mancini, who had put an end to 44 years of famine in the Premier League, nor Manuel Pellegrini will manage to make City shine in the Champions League. Even Pep Guardiola, crowned with his two Champions Leagues with Barcelona, chained the disappointments on the continental scene. Arrived in England in February 2016, the one who had played seven semi-finals of the Champions League before coming to the Citizens only played two with them: against Real two months after his arrival and against PSG.
“I also think of the players who helped us”
The qualification for the final obtained this Tuesday against the French was greeted as a phew of relief and a first victory, to such an extent that the Spanish coach wanted to pay tribute to the former glories of the club.
“You have to think of all the people who made this club including Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee.”
The first city died last January at the age of 74 after a long illness. He had played 492 games between 1966 and 1979, scoring 152 goals. Mike Summerbee, still alive, also left his mark on the Manchester club by staying ten years there (1965-1975). Together they won the title in 68, the Cup in 69 and the Cup Winners’ Cup, ancestor of the Europa League, in 1970.
Guardiola also congratulated his management and his former players including Vincent Kompany.
“Kudos to the owners who took over the team. They’ve invested and have always supported us. People think it’s all about the money. Okay if they want to believe it but it’s not. not only that. It is a job carried out by all departments of the club. I also think of Vincent Kompany, David Silva, Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta, many players who have helped us to become what we are. also belongs and I am sure they will support us in three weeks. “
It only remains to know the identity of their opponent they will meet on May 29 at Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul.