Khaldoon Al Mubarak, the Manchester City chairman, has said the club “should win” the Champions League within the next 10 years after declaring the first decade of Sheikh Mansour’s ownership as an “extraordinary journey.”
Sept. 1 marks the 10th anniversary of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan’s £210 million takeover of the club and Al Mubarak, speaking exclusively to ESPN FC, insists that the progress and success of the past 10 years is only the starting point of what can lie ahead for City.
But while he believes it will be virtually impossible for City to replicate the domestic dominance enjoyed by neighbours Manchester United under the management of Sir Alex Ferguson, who guided United to 13 Premier League titles in 20 years, Al Mubarak said that there is now an expectation within the Etihad Stadium of Champions League success.
“The short answer is, yes we should win it [Champions League] in the next 10 years, and obviously sooner rather than later,” Al Mubarak told ESPN FC. “But it’s hard.
“It took Barcelona almost 50 years to win their first Champions League — it’s a very difficult competition and what makes it even more difficult for English teams is the competition in the Premier League. We have the disadvantage of having to play an incredibly difficult game every weekend. Not all the competition we face in the Champions League has that.
“Every game [in the Premier League] is absolutely difficult, home or away. That’s a fact. It’s real. You can go to any of last season’s bottom three and they are very difficult games. That’s the beauty of this league, but also puts a huge toll — physically and mentally — on those teams competing for the Champions League.”
“The dominance that United had, of 13 titles in 20 years, is almost impossible to do in the modern game,” he said. “It is too competitive, too difficult, and that’s the beauty of the Premier League.
“Italy is different, with one team dominating, and it is unfortunate for that league. Germany is the same. You have two or three competitors in each league, but a very dominant No. 1.
“The Spanish league has three teams competing, but in reality two who can win it year in and year out, but the Premier League — just look at the past three champions.
“But the beauty of what we have today, with Guardiola, is what I believe is the beginning of a period that this club is going to go through, of sustained success in quite a beautiful way.
“Last year was wonderful, and we are very excited about this season, and the years ahead with Pep, this organisation and the group of players we have put together.”
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