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  • Sunday, March, 2023| Today's Market | Current Time: 01:56:02
  • Manchester City training grounds
    Source: https://flic.kr/p/2mkUSgR

    The legendary English club Manchester City was acquired by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008 and from that moment onwards the sporting success began. They won the Premiership and all the domestic cups they could win, but the main objective and obsession of the management and the fans is the Champions League. 

    They have invested a huge amount of money in world-class players and coaches. Furthermore, they have wowed the world with their style of play, led by Pep Guardiola, who has made them fall in love since his time at Barcelona, and City has given him everything to replicate the trophies in the English city. 

    There is only one unfinished business for Guardiola. Winning the European Cup and this season, he seems to be the favourite and natural candidate to take the crown from Real Madrid. That’s why it’s not a bad idea to enter 4rabet to make the next season more interesting. There you will find the highest odds and places to bet on your favourite team. 

    The heavy investment of the club. 

    Since the arrival of Josep Guardiola at the Etihad, the club has spent more than 1 billion in signings to strengthen all lines and make the team a European superpower. 

    Pep’s first two seasons in charge of the CItyzens laid the groundwork for what would become his project and he spent €500m on players such as Laporte, John Stones, and Kyle Walker. All of them were defenders, the idea was to build the team from the back to the front, and with that expenditure, they built a defence with a lot of guarantees. 

    Then they focused on the midfield where they brought in the players who pull the strings of the team, and they hit the nail on the head by bringing in Bernardo Silva and the German Ilkay Gundogan. The Portuguese has proven to be one of the best in the world and is wanted by Barcelona, who are willing to pay the 80 million euros he is worth. 

    Later came Riyad Mahrez, João Cancelo and Rodrigo Hernandez. These players came to reinforce the team and make stronger the jewel in the crown. Kevin de Bruyne, under Guardiola’s orders, has become one of the most decisive offensive players in the world. 

    They even had the luxury of spending 100 million on Jack Grealish, making him the most expensive British player, and leaving him on the bench. That’s how powerful the club is. 

    The Catalan coach has options all over the place, he can rotate, and the team does not lose strength. He has proved this with the number of titles he has won. 4 Premier Leagues, 1 FA Cup, 4 EFL Cups, and 2 Community Shields. The trophy room of the British club is full thanks to Pep, but there is a space reserved for everyone’s whim inside Manchester City. 

    Haaland the solution? 

    Obviously, the European Cup has always been the main objective since Guardiola arrived. The board do not see it as acceptable to invest so much, without the long-awaited international title. The reason for the expense is the Champions League. 

    The furthest they had gone was the semi-final in the 2015-16 season with Manuel Pellegrini as their coach. When the Catalan arrived at the bench it was immediately thought that they could go beyond that stage, but in the 2016-17 season, they only reached the round of 16, something unacceptable. 

    The following year, and after another heavy investment, the team was playing spectacularly, and they won the Premier League, obviously the hopes in the Champions League were high, but now the quarter-finals were their limit. One of the richest teams in the world could not prove its worth. 

    The 2018-19 season was a bit traumatic. The Cityzens won it all. Two-time Premier League champions, FA Cup champions, EFL Cup champions, and Community Shield champions. If they won the Champions League, they would have achieved the historic quadruple. An almost impossible task that no one in history has ever achieved. But they fell short. Once again, the quarter-finals were their debacle. 

    Repeating what they achieved in 18-19 sounded like an impossible task, but Pep’s management is very good, and although they did not win the Premier League they did manage to win two cups. This was because he tried to put all his attention on the Champions League, but once again he did not succeed, and once again he was left in the quarter-finals. 

    There was talk of failure because they were not getting what they were spending so much for. In the 20-21 season, City reached for the sky. Once again their commitment was focused on the continental tournament, and they made it to the final, where a solitary Kai Havertz goal denied them the chance to be European champions. Pep was devastated, but he did not jump ship. 

    Last season they won the premiership again and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League. They had Real Madrid on the ropes, but they couldn’t finish them off, and in a heroic game, the Spanish club turned the scoreline around and got into the final. 

    That defeat was inexplicable. It showed that they have a very competitive team, as they outplayed Real Madrid in every aspect of football, but that mystique of a legendary team cannot be bought with money. 

    Instead of giving up, the board decided to invest once again, and this time they bought the striker that most of Europe wanted in their ranks. Erling Haaland. The Norwegian was wanted by the big clubs, but City and their buying power can cover the millionaire salary he is asking for and the sporting expectations, as the striker wants to win. 

    Perhaps it is this combination that at the end of the day will bring the coveted European trophy to the Citizens. Haaland wants to win something important, and Guardiola needs a striker who can score at important moments. Messi did that on several occasions with Pep, and they see the Norwegian as someone who can make the difference when the going gets tough. 

    Within the team, they know that the Norwegian may struggle a bit to adapt and that his goal average may drop a bit, but it doesn’t matter if he gets fewer goals, as long as the ones he scores win games. 

    It’s only one trophy that’s missing. A lot of money has been invested to get it, and they have fallen far short. Is Haaland the key? Or can’t you buy a champion’s pedigree? 


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