Why Manchester City can win the Champions League
When Pep Guardiola gets his teams going they become very hard to stop. It happened at Barcelona and Bayern Munich to some extent. He won the Champions League trophy twice in his four-year spell at the Catalan giants, but failed to win the Holy Grail at Bayern, which remains a blot on his impeccable CV to date.
Bayern had won the Champions League in 2012/13 under Jupp Heynckes just before he took the reigns, which made the Bayern job a poisoned chalice of sorts for Pep.
How do you improve a treble-winning team? And the fact that the administration of the German outfit involves a lot of bureaucracy that made sure he didn’t always have everything he wanted at the Allianz Arena. He reached three semifinals in three consecutive years, losing to Spanish teams in the process. He is now at Manchester City, where he has a section of loyal friends at the very top. The likes of Ferran Soriano and Txixi Begiristain who are the power brokers at City worked with Guardiola at Barcelona and will give him all the players he wants to turn City into a winning machine.
The signs are looking good already as they have won the League Cup, are on course to win the Premier League with many records set to tumble on the way.
However, it is the Champions League that is the main aim at City and landing it would be Guardiola’s biggest triumph so far. Though he won it twice at Barcelona, his achievements have been underrated as many people felt those triumphs were as a result of Lionel Messi’s individual brilliance. The likes of Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Juventus also have teams capable of winning the title but Europe should be scared of City.
They have taken 81 points from a possible 90, astonishing feats for a team playing in the Premier League where the competition is fever pitch. City have a team that can win the revered trophy, and the fact that they are hungry for it is another factor that can play into their hands. The likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Vincent Kompany, despite their obvious talents have never won the tournament, with their best finish a semifinal finish back in 2015/16.
The quarterfinal draw pit Liverpool against Manchester City. If City do overcome their Premier League rivals, it would offer a statement of intent as Liverpool have been utterly brilliant in this season’s edition of the competition, scoring goals for fun and boasting perhaps the best front three in European football. It will be hard, as City’s solitary loss in the league so far was a 4-3 defeat at Anfield back in January.
The likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona all have players that can alter the course of a game almost single-handedly, but City’s strength is in the collective, which is sometimes better than a team of individuals. Guardiola is on a mission to win the Champions League, as it is now 7 years since his last triumph. It would be his greatest achievement thus far, as it is one that will prove to be the most difficult.