How not to say that history was written in advance? That the richest team, financed by the excessive money of Abu Dhabi, accused of having violated the financial rules of football 115 times, could not really lose?
At the sight of the immense emotion that reigned on the pitch, the tears of happiness that ran down the cheeks of the players and the incredible tension that ravaged the face of the coach, Pep Guardiola, throughout the match, the question seems almost indecent. For them, nothing was won in advance. And yet, how not to ask the question?
Saturday June 10, in Istanbul, Manchester City achieved a rare sporting feat. By winning (1-0) the Champions League final against Inter Milan, at the end of a tense and difficult match, the Citizens put an end to an extraordinary season. They won the Premier League (English league), overtaking Arsenal in the standings only in the final days, the FA Cup (FA Cup) by beating eternal rivals Manchester United, and so – for the first time in their history – the most prestigious European club cup. In this competition, they eliminated Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals and humiliated Real Madrid (4-0 in the return match at the Etihad stadium) in the semi-finals. Only one English team had managed the league-FAC-European Cup treble in the past, that of Manchester United, in 1999.
A quarter of a century later, Manchester City is the new steamroller of football, boasting incredible stats. The team have won five of the last six English Championships.
Since his arrival at the head of the club in 2016, Pep Guardiola has fourteen trophies to his credit. The football-obsessed Catalan is arguably the best coach at the moment, exhausting himself with the task. “I’m tired, really so tired”, he let slip just after the victory of his team in the Premier League this year. He becomes the first technician to have achieved the treble with two different teams: Barcelona in 2008-2009, and now Manchester City. When he entered the press room to meet the journalists after his team’s triumph, Pep Guardiola was greeted with a round of spontaneous applause.
Money is flowing, with no concern for profitability
However, it is not an insult to his talent to point out that the financial imbalance, Saturday evening, on the lawn of the Ataturk stadium in Istanbul was gigantic. According to estimates by the website TransferMarkt, Manchester City players were worth just over 1 billion euros, almost double those of Inter Milan.
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