At the end of the first decade of the 21st century, there were Real, Barcelona and Manchester United. Then the last one sank, just as Bayern got out from trouble. So Juventus returned, after 30 long years and with them, Liverpool appeared.
It took twice as much for Roman Abramovich to make Chelsea a superpower. But now is the time for the Old Continent to be afraid because of others. Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are determined to show this season that they are not only mercenaries of the sheikh, but they have great players who want to write new pages of football history.
There is no bookmaker in the world that will not tell you everything with the odds: PSG and Manchester City are the biggest favorites to win the Champions League trophy this season. City showed that when they spent 117,500,000 euros for Jack Grealish' signature and made him the most expensive player this summer.
PSG responded even more strongly: they finally took Lionel Messi from Barcelona, brought Gianluigi Donnarumma, Sergio Ramos, Giorginio Wijjnaldum to the Park of Princes, brought Achraf Hakimi from Inter for 60,000,000 euros and showed the world that even if there is no rich trophy treasury, they have money which attracts the best in the world to Paris.
It has not yet clicked as the Qatari sheiks had hoped, moreover, Messi's arrival seems to have thrown Kylian Mbappe off balance, Donnarumma is only a reserve for Kaylor Navas, Ramos is injured waiting for his debut, Wijjnaldum has been severely criticized after the draw with Club Brugge, only Hakimi immediately began to justify the trust.
But when you have Messi, Neymar and Mbappe in attack, all the logic falls into the water, because each of the three of them only needs a split second to throw the opponent into a knockdown, so PSG, with all the problems, have a maximum of eight wins in League 1, although the points do not come in as dominant a way as expected.
In City, Pep Guardiola carries most of the burden on his shoulders. The biggest star for the citizens is Kevin de Bruyne, but he is not nearly as popular as the Paris Saint-Germain trio. Not even the coach of his City. So Guardiola will serve as a shield against criticism for the team.
And the football world will see the clash of two club philosophies. "We know we will have a problems and it will hurt. The only question is how you endure that pain. They are so good."
Guardiola said when asked how he would stop the unstoppable trio of PSG.
If anyone can stop them, it is City's defense. This season, they conceded only one goal in the Premier League, in the first round against Tottenham. In the Champions League, there are three more against Leipzig, but they gave six then.
"We are not defending ourselves well because we have good football players, but because everyone gives their all with all their heart. The defense depends on the desire of the players." "But I don't know what we should do to stop a team with so much quality. All I know is that we will have to do it as a team. We will not be able to press only one player ", Guardiola added.