Saturday’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan in Istanbul could mark a definitive turning point in European football.
Victory for City would be the first for a state-backed outfit in Europe’s elite club competition, after more than a decade of trying.
The club that has just won a fifth Premier League title in six seasons has been transformed since the 2008 takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group, backed by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
They reached their first Champions League final in 2021, losing 1-0 to Chelsea.
Beaten by Real Madrid in the semi-finals last year, City exacted revenge on the great aristocrats of European football in this season’s semi-finals.
Having added the FA Cup to their Premier League title, they are eyeing a treble in Istanbul, something City boss Pep Guardiola has called a “once in a lifetime” opportunity. Meanwhile, the rest of Europe must wonder if the sport is headed for a period of City dominance. Read more