In the most recent ceremony for the best of world football by France Football, Manchester City won the award for best club. Can't a team that has the label of failure be an example to follow?
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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One more year and we already have new monarchs of European football. Last Monday, October 17, France Football magazine held its traditional ceremony that recognizes the best of world football (or European, which is almost the same thing).
Among this year's winners, Karim Benzema stands out as the new Ballon d'Or. The Real Madrid striker won the highest award after being a key player in a season full of titles for the merengue club. Benzema was transcendental for Madrid to win its 14th Champions League and the League title.
Additionally, other awards were also given, such as the best player: Alexia Putellas; Gavi was also awarded the Kopa Trophy for best young footballer; the Socrates award to Sadio Mané for his social work; the Müller trophy to Robert Lewandowski for the scorer of the year; and Lev Yashin to Thibaut Courtois as the best goalkeeper.
All outstanding and deserved awards (with certain doubts in the Kopa Trophy). Very few will think that Lewandowski does not deserve such recognition after his great season with Bayern, or the awards to Courtois and Benzema, keys to the Champions League that the merengue won; or the momentousness of Putellas for Barcelona to reach the final of the Women's Champions League (later falling against Olympique Lyon).
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But the award that caused the most stir was the club of the year trophy, which was won by Manchester City. How is it possible that the winner of 2022 is a club that only won a national trophy and a runner-up finish in the League Cup? A club that has become accustomed to failure in Europe and its greatest achievement was second place in the 2020-2021 season.
What France Football did was reward City's European failure and its mismanagement. An award that is not understood, neither for sporting success, much less good administrative management. Above City was Real Madrid, champion of the local league and Champions League (eliminating City in the semifinals with a 6-5 aggregate); Liverpool, European runner-up, Premier runner-up (losing to Manchester), FA Cup champion (eliminating City) and Community Shield (winning Pep's team in the end).
Even if we want to give value to women's football, the clubs that had the best results in the men's and women's Champions League should have been rewarded. Here Real Madrid stands out again: champion in men and in the quarterfinals in women; and Paris Saint Germain: round of 16 for men and semifinals for women.
In addition, the team led by Pep Guardiola has spent more than 1,000 million dollars on signings since the Catalan coach came to the bench. A roster is full of players bought with the checkbook of the sheiks of the United Arab Emirates. A club-state financed with oil money capable of paying 117 million for Jack Grealish or 75 for Rubén Días. But it has only allowed them to appear at the local level, where they have conquered 6 of the last 10 leagues. Even so, these records have also been achieved by teams like Bayern, PSG, or Juventus in their respective leagues and the Germans and Italians with much less budget.
If France Football gave this award to City, it only goes to show that it rewards this type of administration. Club-States that have a checkbook financed with petrodollars from an emirate and that can play FIFA in real life by buying players, but at the moment of truth, they do not transcend in Europe, reaching continental glory. This award had many other options: Real Madrid (for its triumphs); Bayern Munich (for its business model); Ajax or Porto (because of their quarries), Villareal (because of their Champions League semi-finals with a modest payroll); or Eintracht Frankfurt or Rangers for the Europa League final.