Pep Guardiola chases perfection. Jurgen Klopp is driven by passion and excitement. Neither would admit to wanting anything but triumph in every entered competition.
But if you asked supporters of their clubs, Manchester City and Liverpool, if they’d accept the following bargain, I bet they’d answer yes.
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Knowing that silverware is never guaranteed, even for two of the biggest spending clubs in the Premier League, would City and Liverpool be content with swapping their top accomplishments of this season come June 2020?
Why they’d take the deal
— Man City has gained a stupid 198 points the past two seasons under Pep Guardiola, an almost incomprehensible figure. It has never won the UEFA Champions League, and Guardiola has not past the semifinals since 2011, when he claimed his second European Cup with Barcelona. And if City finished a point behind Liverpool based on 1.1 millimeters of a ball? That’s football.
— Liverpool won the European Cup, its sixth all-time, and finished with 97 points in the league. That figure would have won the Premier League in every year of its existence until last season’s 100-point campaign by City. The Reds, however, won their then-record 18th English top flight title in 1990. Manchester United had seven at that point, and now has 20. Liverpool has not added to its total, with zero top flight trophies during the Premier League era. To be second-best, at best, for 30 years would be a tough pill to swallow.
Why they wouldn’t
— Guardiola came within two VAR decisions against Spurs and two subsequent rounds of an unprecedented quadruple, as City claimed Premier League, the FA Cup, and the League Cup. “Impossible” or not, Guardiola will like his chances of making another run at the quadruple as much as anyone, and City is going to be reinforce center mid, left back, and striker this summer. And they may even improve right back.
— Liverpool prides itself on its European Cup prowess, and has a chance to become the second champion to defend its title since 1979. It also has the opportunity to reach three-straight finals, which only Real Madrid and Juventus have done since Bayern turned the trick in from 1974-76. Klopp was relieved to have beaten Spurs. He’ll want to sink his teeth into the experience of a second go-round.