The valuable fight of today’s most exciting football stars, but also the clash of two political rivals in the Arab world. Today’s semi-finals of the Champions League offer such a plot.
Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are without a doubt one of the best protected football clubs on the planet. It invests their assets in football derived from the merger of the French and English clubs, respectively, with the owners of the Arab world, mainly by extracting oil and natural gas. Citizens belong to Sheikh Mansour, the royal family of the United Arab Emirates since 2008. PSG has been managed by Qatari Investment Group, a state-owned Qatar Sports Investment, since 2011.
Both countries have a common history and are similar in many ways. It accuses the majority of the Western world in particular of not respecting human rights. After all, Qatar is currently solving a major problem directly related to football. Already in 2013, The Guardian, a British daily, announced that the workers involved in building the stadiums for the 2022 World Cup, which the country was organizing, were actually working in slave conditions. They work without the right to pay and ensure safety in the workplace, which is why more than 6,500 people lost their lives on construction sites. The players themselves opposed the non-compliance of human rights during the first qualifying duels of the World Cup.
Countries separated only by maritime borders may have common history and problems, but they still differ politically. They disagree on issues such as regional issues, military conflicts or the democratization of the press. The thinking of the governments of the two countries is very different on fundamental issues, with the United Arab Emirates linking the Qatar economic blockade caused by Saudi Arabia. The reason is that three million countries are said to have supported terrorism. However, Qatar still denies such allegations.
In contrast, the representatives of the two countries had an agreement for many years on the subject of sports, including football. He was perceived by royal families as a means of fostering good relations and influencing the people. That’s why they invested in European clubs many years ago, which will now face them head-to-head in the fight to qualify for this year’s Champions League final.
However, even for the football world as a whole, the semi-final between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City will have some political connection. The English team, owned by a member of the royal family of the United Arab Emirates, is one of twelve teams that have decided to start their own tournament and exit the Champions League. On the other hand, the French team PSG, along with Bayern Munich, is one of the largest clubs to refuse to participate in the newly emerging project.
The Middle East Eye News Service reports that although the European Superlika project ultimately failed due to reluctance on the part of leagues, politicians, and especially fans, both teams are identifying different views on the future of football. Manchester City are the ones who support the big clubs every year with guaranteed returns regardless of their performance. According to the club management, PSG did not agree with such an approach.
According to experts, the attitude of the management of the two clubs copies the policy of their own countries. “When you look at the foreign policy of the United Arab Emirates, it is very ruthless. Qatar is very diplomatic,” said British writer James Montek, the billionaire club’s richest clubs on the planet and their leaders.
But nothing changes that it is an early finale. The teams led by the biggest stars of world football will face each other. In the jerseys of current French world megastar champions Neymar and Mbabane, they will face off against Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne, Riyad Mahrez or this year’s comet Ilke Gundogan.
Experienced Argentine coach Mauricio Pochettino will take PSG to the war, replacing then-English Chelsea coach Thomas Toussaint with PSG in January. Today, Manchester City is ruled by bench coach Icon Pep Cardiola. Bayern Munich or Barcelona’s former coach Pochettin has a positive record: when their teams met in 18 matches, the Spaniards celebrated a victory ten times, losing only three times.
In addition, the two semifinals will not be the last match the two coaches will face each other this year. PSG and Manchester City are linked to Lionel Messi’s summer transfer. Cardiola has already coached the six-time winner of the Golden Ball in Barcelona, and Pochettino believes he will use the fact that they are both comrades when persuading Messi.
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