Manuel Pellegrini: Manchester City to be as good as Barcelona in “sooner than five years”


FC Barcelona is often one of the three best clubs in the world, and Manchester City’s Manuel Pellegrini, whose squad fell to Barca in the Champions League round of 16 this year, agreed that few sides can compete with a firing-on-all-cylinders FCB.

Manager Luis Enrique has watched Barcelona capture and retain first place in La Liga, but there is significant competition left in the remaining three games, with Real Madrid only two points back in second place.

In the Champions League, Blaugrana is well alive in the semifinal after defeating Bayern Munich, 3-0, in the first leg of the two-match set. While triumph is right on the cusp here as well, Barcelona can’t underestimate Bayern in the second leg on May 12 and would encounter a high-pressure title game if all turns out as predicted.

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Once again toward the end of the Champions League, no Premier League sides have survived to the point of legitimately contending for the crown.

Barca continues to reign supreme, and Pellegrini, mindful of City’s big spending budget, believes that the Sky Blues necessitate a longer period of acclimation to match the caliber of the Spanish powerhouse.

“Maybe a lot of people are nervous, because you don’t do it in three, four, five years,” he said, from Sky Sports. “All these projects need a long time and every year you must demonstrate that you are growing and improving.”

“This season we are really seeing again the Barcelona we saw a few years ago.

“But there is a lot of things we can try to reduce the distance between our team and them. I am sure we are going to do it sooner than five years.”

Barcelona was clearly the better, more skilled side than City, but Pellegrini is on the right track. The landscape of professional soccer can change so quickly if the funding is there, and once the FFP regulations lessen, supporter at the Etihad may enjoy an especially dynamic roster.