Manchester City have come a long way from the team that was once average struggling to stay in the Premier League and battling against relegation. The club is now a force to be reckoned with in the world of football. It doesn’t only rub shoulders with European heavyweights but now sets the bar for success for most of them.
Like Real Madrid, Man City have become the team others would like to avoid during European competitions particularly in knockout games. The Blues now strike fear into the opponents and rank as one of Europe’s most dangerous teams.
City’s 4-0 victory over Real Madrid on the way to lifting the Champions League last summer, more than anything, announced the club’s arrival on the big stage. Beating no less an opponent than the 14-time champions of the competition, and with such ruthlessness sent out a clear message; we are now a major force to contend with.
Prior to the 2008 takeover, City fans could only admire the Champions League from afar. Lacking the financial might to compete, the club had no chance of qualifying for the competition while the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and even Chelsea enjoyed the privilege like a birthright.
But since then City have featured in the competition a total of 13 times and in every season since the 2011/12 campaign. After initial struggles to make a mark, the club has grown steadily in the competition reaching the final twice and finally lifting the trophy last time out.
The Blues have now gone from just making up the numbers to now being one of the favorites to lift the trophy every season. How times change!
City is now genuine European royalty with the team widely recognized as the standard bearer, the bar upon which others measure themselves.
From winning the FA Cup in 2011 and the Premier League in 2012, both their first since the 1960s, City have steadily climbed the ladder of success.
Under Pep Guardiola, the club won the Premier League in 2018 with 100 points, becoming the only team in English football history to attain the feat. But that was not all as the team became the first English club to complete an unprecedented sweep of all domestic titles after winning four domestic trophies in the 2018-19 campaign.
Since being interrupted by Liverpool in 2020, City have won the last three league titles back-to-back. Another treble in 2023 that includes the Champions League put City as one of only two teams to have accomplished the feat in England.
The team has become a real juggernaut under the Catalan boss; a side now easily regarded as the very best in the game. Yet the players are not ready to stop anytime soon. Although the era of the players that started the revolution is coming to an end, another is just beginning.
With the likes of Phil Foden, Erling Haaland and Julian Alvarez still just 23 being joined by Rico Lewis, Oscar Bobb and other academy graduates, so much is yet to come.