As surprising as it may seem, one of the greatest teams in the Premier League does not have an apricot in its window. It is almost unreal that Manchester City, one of the Big Four in English football, has never won this tournament and even the club has never reached a Champions League final.
In the last 20 years, the ‘Citizens’ have participated in all editions of the most important club tournament in Europe. The Manchester team has played a total of 78 games, 45 wins, 17 draws and 25 defeats. In all these participations the English club has been eliminated in the group stage on two occasions. From the 2013-2014 season, everything began to improve: they reached the round of 16, three to the quarter-finals and only once to a semi-final.
The best participation of the club came from the hand of the technical director Manuel Pellegrini. The Chilean had come to the management of Manchester City in June 2013 for the next three seasons and to change the trajectory of the club. In addition to bringing in the “Engineer”, the club also signed players like Jesús Navas and Martín Demichelis. They accompanied the team’s stars such as Nicolas Otamendi, Yaya Touré and David Silva to try to bring the trophy to the Etihad Stadium.
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Pellegrini played three times in the top club tournament in Europe with the Citizens. In its first two participations the team could not go beyond the round of 16, on both occasions it was eliminated by the great Barcelona. But it would be the 2015/2016 season that would mark the history of the club.
In the last campaign of the Engineer with the citizens and for the first time in its 122 years of foundation, the celestial team manages to qualify for the semifinals of the Champions League. The team was head of Group D which was made up of Juventus, Sevilla and Borussia Mönchengladbach. The citizens finished first in the group and faced Dynamo Kiev in the round of 16. Manchester City eliminated the Ukrainian team 1-3.
Paris Saint-Germain gave him a great fight in the quarterfinal stage. The result in the first leg was a draw at two goals and in the second leg Manchester managed to score a goal that assured them a place in the semifinal of the tournament. Manchester’s rival was Real Madrid, at that time led by Zinedine Zidane, who ended up ending the dream of reaching the final after a cumulative final score of 0-1.
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Pellegrini’s departure brought Spaniard Joseph Guardiola to the head of the team. With the arrival of the Spanish in 2016, the English were betting on him to win the cup with their new technical director. Guardiola had already led Barcelona to the best four of the tournament in seven editions of the Champions League and in two of them he had been champion. However, he could not repeat it in his three participations to date.
Pep has not been able to advance beyond the quarter-finals in the 16/17 season nor did he make it out of the group stage. In the following editions he has been eliminated by Liverpool, Tottenham and, in the most recent edition, by Olympique de Lyon.
The current Premier League leader is looking to match his best appearance against Erling Haaland’s Borussia Dortmund. City came first in their group and faced Borussia Mönchengladbach in the round of 16, winning four goals to nil. The Etihad Stadium in Manchester awaits the German team that comes from beating Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla on a tight date.
Although the years pass, players come and go, losses are mourned and triumphs are celebrated, but the desire to lift the cup remains the same. Perhaps this 2021 from the hand of players like Kevin De Bruyne, Ilkay Gündogan, Riyad Mahrez and under the command of Pep Guardiola, the team managed to fulfill the dream of thousands of fans by lifting the trophy once and for all.