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Is Manchester City the Best Team in History?

Manchester City win Champions League

Manchester City win Champions League
Manchester City defeated Inter Milan to win its first Champions League and to complete the treble (Paul Ellis/Agence France-Presse)

Is Manchester City the Best Team in History?

Manchester City finally won its first Champions League title on Saturday, defeating Inter Milan 1-0. This victory completed the treble for City, who had already won the Premier League and the FA Cup.

After the incredible season that City has had, the question that now lingers is whether this Manchester City team the best in history?

Premier League Domination

To be the best team in history, you first have to be the best team in your country. Manchester City has achieved this and more.

After a tightly-contested Premier League title race with Arsenal, City ultimately proved their superiority towards the end of the season and won the 2022-2023 Premier League.

This was City’s third-straight Premier League title and their fifth in six years.

Even when City looked weak this year and Arsenal were seen as favorites to dethrone them, they still found a way to win.

Premier league domination, check.

Domestic Cup Victories

Manchester City have not just been successful in the Premier League in recent years. They have also had success in England’s cup competitions.

They won the FA Cup this season, beating Manchester United 2-1 in the final. Their FA Cup triumph made it two trophies for the club this season following their Premier League success.

City’s cup success is not isolated to this year either. They also won the FA Cup in 2019 and won the League Cup for four consecutive years between 2018-21.

After a year without a cup victory, they returned to their domestic cup-winning way this season with their FA Cup win.

Domestic cup victories, check.

Champions League Victory

The biggest criticism that City has received in recent years has been that they could not win the Champions League. Sure, they could dominate the Premier League and win domestic cup competitions, but they could never get it done in Europe.

On Saturday, they finally silenced their critics.

In a tightly fought contest with Inter Milan, it took a superbly struck finish from Rodri in the 68th minute to break the deadlock.

Although Inter pushed forward and Ederson had to make a few key saves (and Lukaku blocked his own teammate’s header), Manchester City was able to hang on to win its first Champions League title.

After years of failed attempts and obsession with winning the Champions League, Manchester City finally got it done.

Champions League victory, check.

Are They The Best in History?

Winning the Champions League capped off an incredible season in which Manchester City also won the Premier League and the FA Cup, becoming the first English side to win the treble since Manchester United in 1998-99.

Their Champions League victory made them the best team in the world at the moment without a doubt.

So, the question persists: Is this Manchester City team the best in history?

This is something that many soccer fans around the world are beginning to debate, and recency bias would likely incline some to argue that they are.

However, it is important to remember that soccer has had a long history and there have been many great teams. United’s treble-winning season, for example, occurred during an eight-year period where United won six Premier League titles.

Another team to consider is the Barcelona team that won three La Liga titles and two Champions League titles from 2009-11. It would also be foolish to forget about the Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real Madrid squad that won four Champions League titles in five years, three of which were consecutive.

Final Verdict

The reality is, for City to really make the argument that they are the best team in history, they are going to need to win a few more trophies, especially Champions League. Champions Leagues bring a team the most prestige, which is why the Real Madrid team that won four Champions Leagues during the five-year stretch of 2014-18 is likely the best team in history.

The fact that Manchester City is now in this conversation is a testament to the work that has been done at the club in recent years, however. They are dominating England, and now that they have one Champions League title, more are likely on the horizon.

Plus, Pep Guardiola will be in Manchester for another two years.

Expect City to keep on winning and for this debate to rage on.


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