There were many who questioned David Silva’s motives when he originally joined Manchester City suggesting that he was only going to the club for the pay packet. However, he has developed into one of the most influential central midfielders in the Premier League.
He has said that one day he hopes City will be talked about in the same bracket as Barcelona but this is difficult to see when you consider the differences and the dramatic parallels between the two clubs. The overlying reason the two will never be compared is the fact that City have bought their way to any success they have had while they have been owned by the Abu Dhabi Investment Group.
Barcelona are considered one of the best teams ever to play the game because of their history, the way the team has been built up and the way the club has developed. This is in direct comparison to City who rely on their financial backers to not only stay afloat but to keep their best players in place at the end of every season.
“We hope one day we'll be able to be a club that is talked about like Barcelona. It's hard to say we're close to that because, although we won the Premier League, we went out of the Champions League, but it's a question of working at it and trying to make more of an impact in Europe,” Silva told the Guardian.
It’s that aspect of the Champions League which will also be a dividing factor with these comments. City are a million miles from winning the Champions League compared to Barcelona who have been genuine contenders for a number of years and have one of the best ever European records when it comes to the European Cup. Until City make final after final each and every year, they cannot even be compared to the great Liverpool teams of the past or the recent Manchester United side that made three finals in four years.
“The way we played in the Champions League – we all have to take the blame for that. It didn't start well in the Champions League and it became an uphill task. But you can't just blame the manager,” he added.
It’s also important to look at the infrastructure of both clubs. City, just like Barcelona, are strong internally which means they do have a chance of emulating Barcelona in the respect of the model the Spanish club follows. However, the biased TV deals in Spain and the socio-political backing the club enjoys means they are relatively secure away from the field at all times.
For City to produce the same standard of academy and the same high quality of turnaround in terms of their players, the financial investments which have already been made in the club need to be maintained over a set period of time. Then, and only then, may City have a chance of producing the sort of indestructible teams that currently walk out at the Nou Camp each and every week.
It seems like a bit of a pipe dream to be honest although the basic elements of what is needed to create a great City team are in place. However, people will always talk about the money when it comes to the success that City have and how it’s the only reason that success has been allowed.
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