Manchester City has been the best team in England and one of, if not the best team in the world for the past few years.
The English giants combine an electric attacking and silky-smooth midfield with air-tight defense to form the best overall team in the world more times than not; they also have the financial backing that most other teams— and any team not named Newcastle United or Paris Saint-Germain— could dream of, yet they still cannot capture the most coveted trophy in Europe despite being perennial favorites in Champions League betting.
Why is that?
Manchester City cannot win the Champions League
Man City lost the 2021 Champions League Final to Chelsea 1-0 in what many considered to be their breakthrough year. Chelsea did not have a true striker leading its line, and their midfield, as talented as it was, only consisted of two men, allowing City to overrun them in the middle.
Veteran defender Thiago Silva also had to come off for the Blues just over a half-hour into the game, but the league champions could not find a way into the net. They ultimately conceded the deciding goal as a result of what many consider a controversial choice from Pep Guardiola to not start a holding midfielder, leaving both Rodri and Fernandinho on his bench.
As disappointing as the result was, City seemed well on its way to righting its wrong with another campaign in 2022; they were dominating their domestic league and had assumed authority in a tie with Real Madrid, only to concede goals in the 90th and 91st minutes to force extra time, then ultimately giving a penalty to Karim Benzema in the 95th, which eventually eliminated them from the competition.
Guardiola won two Champions League titles in 2008-09 and 2010-11 with Barcelona, but his recent lull in the tournament has made it hard to defend his reputation as the best manager in the world, even if his outside success would deem him to be.
Manchester City will win the Champions League
Man City fans should be viewing the 2023 Champions League as their best chance to win the competition; they have Kevin De Bruyne playing at an all-world level, while young players such as Phil Foden and Ruben Dias are coming into their own.
The Manchester faithful also has the English Premier League’s record signing, Jack Grealish, in the front three, and Raheem Sterling is still there despite rumors linking him to a move away.
The holy grail in Man City’s attack, however, is Erling Haaland, who signed in May. The Norwegian star has one of the best goal returns in Europe’s major leagues and is still in the early stages of his career, and he figures to slot in perfectly for a City team that had grown accustomed to playing without a striker.
The only question surrounding Haaland is his ability to adapt to a league where there is far less space to operate in, unlike the Bundesliga he terrorized for a few years.
City also has a great chance to win the Champions League because Liverpool will soon face serious issues with its squad, mostly because of age and contract disputes with star players. 2021 winners Chelsea are in a squad rebuild of their own, Bayern Munich is primed to lose striker Robert Lewandowski, and the other usual juggernauts are also transitioning into new eras.
The only team that appears to be a thorn in City’s side is Real Madrid, though they do not have a squad as experienced or expensive as City’s current team.
All in all, the pressure is on Manchester City to win the Champions League soon, because until they do, they will be seen as a quasi-one-hit wonder, dominating England but being unable to take control over the other European powers in the most competitive competition in the sport.