UEFA Champions League is back and we have plenty of big fishes waiting to get their chance in the Round Of 16 stage to progress further in the competition. Last year, Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City left nothing in the tank. However, the Spaniard always remains ‘cool’ about expectations from the club and players. Maybe, he is still adopting the old mindset of top managers which cool down the pressure saying they can’t win everything and then eventually winning it all saying we deserved it because we were the better team tonight.
To get you a better idea of things, here’s what Guardiola actually said about winning the treble once again last week. (Brazil Fail To Qualify For Paris Olympics 2024 Football Event, Check Full List Of Nations Qualified Here)
“This is a fairy tale, it’s more complicated than that. We have a 99.99% possibility that we are not going to win the treble because never, never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever has anyone done it. If it was easy, another team — Manchester United in that time — would do it again. It’s not easy. Everything is so difficult in this business, what we did in the past doesn’t guarantee anything.”
To be honest, he is somewhere right – it is a tricky/difficult business to be on top of every tournament you play in today’s time. However, Guardiola and his troops were way above their pay grade in terms of tactics and armory. They were simply ruthless to every opposition they faced last season and eventually won everything.
It’s almost time for #UCL action
During the 1999-2000 season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s triumphant Manchester United team successfully retained their Premier League crown. However, their Champions League campaign was cut short in the quarterfinals by Real Madrid. Additionally, they relinquished their FA Cup defense as they opted to participate in the FIFA Club World Cup held in Brazil. (How Ex-Tennis Star Ion Tiriac Surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo And Lionel Messi’s Combined Earnings)
A decade later, Guardiola’s Barcelona managed to secure just one trophy, LaLiga, following their historic treble in the 2008-09 season. Similarly, Serie A champions Inter Milan, who completed a treble in 2009-10, could only clinch the Coppa Italia the following year.
Bayern Munich, the German powerhouses, achieved the treble in 2012-13 and 2019-20 but settled for a domestic double in 2013-14 and solely won the Bundesliga in 2020-21. Meanwhile, Luis Enrique’s Barcelona claimed LaLiga and Copa del Rey in 2015-16 but were halted in the Champions League quarterfinals, ending their aspirations of consecutive trebles.
While the historical trend does not favor Manchester City in their pursuit of back-to-back trebles, they possess a unique advantage: none of their six predecessors faced a challenger threatening their reign in the Champions League.
Liverpool are not in the Champions League Round of 16, FC Barcelona are way far from their best form, PSG do not look that big of a problem for City and that leaves Real Madrid in their way of winning the UCL. However, Liverpool are in the Premier League ahead of City in the table and are also part of the FA Cup which could make things pretty difficult for Guardiola and co.