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PSG have an appointment on Tuesday with a big chunk in the Champions League, the Manchester City club, for a revenge for the semi-final lost last spring. Enough to fuel the growing rivalry between the two clubs.
Those who look alike hate each other. Both properties of a wealthy sovereign wealth fund from a Gulf state, PSG and Manchester City are constantly being compared. Before act 6 of their budding rivalry, Tuesday September 28 in the Champions League, analysis of the trajectory of the two opponents in group A.
>> To read also: “Champions League: PSG-Manchester City, such a match… of geopolitics”
• Awards: a final everywhere
Since moving under the flag of a Gulf State, the two clubs have experienced an inflation of titles unprecedented in their history.
PSG leads 27 trophies to 16, but the difference is to be put into perspective given the level difference 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 missed their chance 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 signing of superstar Lionel Messi this summer, PSG have taken on an added dimension in their quest to become the club of the next 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 at all. Its equipment contract with Puma, valued at around 76 million euros per year by the British press, is in the top 5 in Europe… like PSG with Nike.
The Deloitte firm assessed 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 aim to overtake one day.
• Transfers: Manchester City advantage
In the arms race to build a workforce capable of winning the C1, the Emirates 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 who has bought the most in Europe.
PSG comes fourth. In terms of volume, the Mancunians (130 players recruited, 59% paying) still exceed the Parisians (59, but 75% paying).
These figures highlight two different recruitment policies. On the one hand, City does not hesitate to buy a lot in order to then send these players to toughen up elsewhere, on loan. The “Sky Blues” are those who have loaned the most in Europe over the decade, with 232 players.
On the other, PSG, less inclined to “trading”, prefers to hit hard with huge transfers, such as those of Neymar (222 million euros) and Kylian Mbappé (180 million euros) in 2017.
It was not until this summer that Manchester City exceeded the bar of 100 million euros in compensation for the first time, for Jack Grealish (117 million euros).
Although their philosophy differs, the two clubs have experienced the same problems with UEFA’s financial fair play.
• Head-to-head: Manchester City, winner by KO
Five matches, no Parisian success: Manchester City has become PSG’s pet peeve.
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 in the last decade. In England, City and Sammy Traoré’s PSG drew (0-0).
The two rivals met in 2016 for a quarter-final of C1 which left a bitter taste at 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 post a few weeks later.
Last spring, revenge was taken in the semi-finals. But PSG, twice, lost: 2-1 at home, then 2-0 away, an elimination which highlighted the collective failures of PSG against the oiled system of Pep Guardiola.