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PSG has an appointment Tuesday with a big hunk in the Champions League, the Manchester City club, for a rematch of the semi-final lost last spring. Enough to fuel the growing rivalry between the two clubs.
Who looks alike hates each other. Both properties of a wealthy sovereign fund of a Gulf State, PSG and Manchester City are constantly being compared. Before act 6 of their nascent rivalry, Tuesday, September 28 in the Champions League, analysis of the trajectory of the two opponents of group A.
>> To read also: “Champions League: PSG-Manchester City, a match also … of geopolitics”
• Awards: a final everywhere
Since they went under the flag of a Gulf State, the two clubs have experienced an unprecedented inflation of titles in their history.
PSG leads 27 trophies to 16, but the difference should be put into perspective in view of the difference in level between the English and French championships.
Justice of the peace to decide between them, the Champions League has not dubbed either of the two clubs.
PSG let their chance pass in the final of the 2020 edition (against Bayern, 1-0), and Manchester City, the following year (against Chelsea, 1-0).
• Popularity: PSG advantage
With the recruitment of superstar Lionel Messi this summer, PSG have taken on an extra dimension in their quest to become the club of the new generation.
On Instagram, the Parisian club, which plays on a “lifestyle” image, as evidenced by its partnership with Jordan Brand, is followed by more than 50 million subscribers, twice as many as City (26.8 million).
But on the question of turnover, the beloved team of the Gallagher brothers is not far off at all. Its equipment supplier contract with Puma, valued at around 76 million euros per year by the British press, is in the European top 5 … like PSG with Nike.
The Deloitte firm estimated that the “Citizens” generated more income than the Parisians during the 2019/20 season (549 million euros against 540), but a year earlier, it was PSG who were ahead ( 635 million euros against 610).
The two clubs are fighting for fifth place, behind FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich … which they hope to overtake one day.
• Transfers: Manchester City advantage
In the arms race to build a workforce capable of winning the C1, the UAE at the head of Manchester City have been the biggest spenders. According to a FIFA report published in September, which summarizes the decade 2010-2020 seen from the transfer market without mentioning specific amounts, the English club is the one that has bought the most in Europe.
PSG come fourth. In terms of volume, the Mancuniens (130 players recruited, including 59% paying) still exceed the Parisians (59, but 75% paying).
These figures highlight two different recruitment policies. On the one hand, City do not hesitate to buy a lot to then send these players to harden elsewhere, on loan. The “Sky Blues” are those who have lent the most in Europe over the decade, with 232 players.
On the other hand, PSG, less inclined to “trading”, prefers to hit hard with huge transfers, like those of Neymar (222 million euros) and Kylian Mbappé (180 million euros) in 2017.
It was not until this summer that Manchester City exceeded for the first time the bar of 100 million euros in compensation, for Jack Grealish (117 million euros).
Although their philosophy differs, the two clubs have experienced the same concerns with UEFA’s financial fair play.
• Face-to-face: Manchester City, winner by KO
Five matches, no Parisian success: Manchester City has become the bête noire of PSG.
Their first confrontation dates back to December 2008, during the group stage of the UEFA Cup (now Europa League), almost “prehistory” for two teams transformed during the last decade. In England, City and Sammy Traore’s PSG drew (0-0).
The two rivals met in 2016 for a quarter-final of C1 which left a bitter taste to PSG. After the draw at the Parc (2-2) in the first leg, De Bruyne qualified his team (1-0) in a return match marked by the losing tactical bet of Laurent Blanc, dismissed from his duties a few weeks later.
Last spring, revenge is taken in the semifinals. But PSG, twice, lost: 2-1 at home, then 2-0 away, an elimination that highlighted the collective failings of PSG against the oiled system of Pep Guardiola.