The Man City Project Won’t Be A Success Without A Champions League Win

Pep Guardiola’s men have dominated domestically since his time in Manchester began, but the club won’t truly be fulfilled until a continental success is secured.

The Man City Project Won’t Be A Success Without A Champions League Win

Cast your mind back to May 2012, as an ecstatic Roberto Di Matteo embraced his owner as he climbed the steps of the Allianz Arena in Munich.

Considering the amount of money he pumped into the club and the fact Di Matteo had only been in caretaker charge for two months, Roman Abramovich probably didn’t appreciate his manager screaming “I won it” at him.

However, after securing a victory that betting apps didn’t fancy them for, nothing was going to wipe the smile off Abramovich’s face that night. That’s because he’d just seen a project he’d started all the way back in June 2003 finally come to fruition.

Chelsea won their first league title in 50 years in that nine-year period and two more Premier League crowns followed. They were also supplemented by four FA Cups, two League Cups and a couple of Community Shields for good measure.

But, everyone knew it was the Champions League that Abramovich wanted the most and 10 years later that is ironically the position that the Premier League’s next super-rich club to follow Chelsea, Manchester City, find themselves in now.

BrandInplay SportsCash Out - InPlayInplay MultisMobile Live StreamingClaim Bonus
888 Sports 16 Tick Icon Tick Icon Tick Icon Claim Bonus
Bet-at-Home Sports 39 Tick Icon Tick Icon Tick Icon Claim Bonus
Bet365 Sports 31 Tick Icon Tick Icon Tick Icon Claim Bonus

The Champions League Remains A Huge Gap In City’s Trophy Cabinet

Before we look at Man City’s case, it’s important to acknowledge the opposition to ownership models such as the one they, Chelsea and now Newcastle operate under.

Accusations of sportswashing by state/oligarch-owed clubs do need to be taken seriously, even though Abramovich is now on his way out owing to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

However, those issues deserve to be fleshed out properly, and are not the focus of this piece.

From a purely sporting point of view, it’s been clear since Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan took ownership of Manchester City in 2008 and then subsequently appointed former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola as manager in 2016 that winning the Champions League has been the primary focus of everyone at the club.


Join and place a £10 fixed odds bet at odds of 1/2 or greater. Once the bet is settled, get a £10 free fixed odds bet plus a £5 free Total Goals football spread bet. The second £10 free fixed odds bet and second £5 free Total Goals football spread bet will be credited 24 hours later. Free bet stakes not included in any winnings from the free fixed odds bets. You need to open a full sports spread betting account to use the 2 x £5 free Total Goals football spread bets. Free bets expire in 28 days if unused. Promotions available to 18+ aged individuals who are registered customers of Spreadex. Spreadex Ltd reserves the right to exercise its sole discretion as to whether or not to open account facilities for any prospective client. Spreadex Ltd reserves the right to amend, withdraw or restrict this offer at any time without notice. Spreadex Ltd reserves the right to withhold this offer when it has reasonable belief there has been co-operation, collusion or organisation of bets from the same source, or if it has reasonable belief that the offer is being abused in any way. Spreadex Ltd is the sole arbiter of these rules and any other issue arising under the promotion. No staff member (or any relation or partner thereof) of any spread betting or fixed odds bookmaking firm is eligible to take advantage of these offers. Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other Spreadex offer. Unless otherwise stated, clients reopening Spreadex accounts do not qualify for the offer. Customers who are ineligible for any promotional free bets will also be ineligible for these promotions. T&C's Apply.


In the time since his takeover, Sheikh Mansour has only seen Man City make the final of Europe’s premier club competition once - falling to Chelsea unexpectedly last season - and it must be galling to him to have seen Chelsea and Liverpool win the Champions League on three occasions between them in that intervening time.

Squad wise and in the manager’s chair they are almost untouchable domestically (even if Liverpool are making a hell of a go of it) when it comes to honours in the last six or so years. But, we all know it is the Champions League they crave most of all.

Andrew Cole played for City for a season in the mid-00s, and he reckons City have a strong chance of finally snaring honours in Europe this season.

“The Champions League has eluded Manchester City over the last few years,” Cole told bookmakers.co.uk.

“They have a tough game in this year's semi-final with Real Madrid. Could it be the season they finally do it? It could well be.

“When you try to win the European Cup, you need a little bit of luck to go your way.”


Not Valid from 10pm 8th April 2022 until 6pm 9th April 2022


Champions League Is All That Is Missing For Pep

Pep Guardiola won the Champions League twice during his spell in charge of his boyhood club Barcelona. However, he has failed to replicate that feat since at Bayern Munich and now Manchester City.

He has won three league titles and seven other domestic trophies during his tenure in England. His City outfit are also favourites to claim the Premier League this term.

However, Guardiola can only be considered among the best managers in the history of the game if he achieves European success while he’s in charge at the Etihad Stadium according to Cole.

“Yes, I would believe that Pep Guardiola has to win the Champions League to achieve that status,” Cole said when asked if the City boss needed another victory in the competition to be thought of as a great.

“Pep Guardiola is such a brilliant manager with what he has achieved in the game and by all accounts, he’s a fantastic manager to work for.

BrandiOS AppAndroid AppMobile Live StreamingBonusClaim Bonus
888 Sports Tick Icon Tick Icon Tick Icon £30 In Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus When You Place Your First Bet of £10+ Claim Bonus Min deposit £/€/$10 • A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £/€/$10 • Min odds 1/2 (1.50) • Free Bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days • Free Bet stakes not included in returns • Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager the bonus amount 40 times within 14 days • Casino Bonus expires after 60 days • Withdrawal restrictions, payment methods, country & Full T&C’s apply.
Bet365 Sports Tick Icon Tick Icon Tick Icon Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365 Claim Bonus Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Grosvenor Sports Tick Icon Tick Icon Tick Icon Double The Odds, Any Bet, Any Odds Claim Bonus New customers. Max £10. 200% Odds Boost Token. Keep it fun - set your deposit limit. T&Cs apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org

As for how the semi-final with 13-time winners Real Madrid will go, Cole was keen to steer the conversation to team performance rather than some of the individual star players involved.

“It's not a case of man for man when you look at the squads,” the 1999 Champions League winner explained.

“It's how they perform as a team out on the pitch. Especially, with what Real Madrid have done this season.

“I don't believe anyone expected Madrid to get to the semis, but they pulled it out. All these clubs want the same thing. It should be a really good tie though.”

You can back Manchester City at 7/5 with Unibet to win the Champions League.