Manchester City reached the Champions League final for only the second time in their history by beating Real Madrid and while winning a treble would mark a historic achievement, Inter potentially winning the Champions League would mark a massive underdog achievement in the game.
A lot of it will be because of the financial gulf between the two finalists. As City’s free-spending approach is backed by a glut of resources from a gilded ownership, the opposite can be said for the Nerazzurri. Still mired in financial struggle, Inter’s journey till this point has been one of immense resolve, with Simone Inzaghi evading the potential sack himself.
As things stand, there are 13 Man City players who cost more than the most expensive player in Inzaghi’s squad. Someone like Kalvin Phillips, who isn’t even a regular, cost more than Nicolo Barella, who is arguably one of the most influential midifielders in the game today. That says a lot about the gulf between the two sides.
Five of Inter’s players – Andre Onana, Hakan Çalhanoğlu, Francesco Acerbi and Henrikh Mkhitaryan joined as free-agents, as Edin Dzeko also joined for a minimal fee from Roma. While Alessandro Bastoni had joined for about €37 million, his signing and that of Barella were made some years ago and they were essentially targetted investments from Inter.
City, on the other hand, shelled out over €100 million for Jack Grealish, who joined from Aston Villa. While doesn’t mean that Pep Guardiola is at fault for the gulf between the two clubs, it only suggests that Inter’s potential Champions League triumph will mean much more to the sport than City’s potential Champions League win. Beppe Marotta’s career has been full of examples of exceptional free transfers and if anything, he deserves to win atleast one European crown.
Kaustubh Pandey | GIFN