Manchester City clinched the Premier League title yesterday to bring a thrilling chase with Liverpool to an end, but the Reds still have the Champions League to play for.
It’s ironic in some ways, because it could be argued that the Premier League was the trophy Liverpool really wanted, while the Champions League was the one Guardiola and City dearly desire.
That wasn’t lost on Stan Collymore, as per the Sunday People, page 53, 12 May, who said that Jurgen Klopp can succeed in the competition Guardiola was brought to the Etihad to succeed.
He said: “If Liverpool win the Champions League on June 1, there is an argument that City might not end up being the most celebrated team in England this season. Winning the Champions League defines you as a player and as a club.
“There will be an irony… if Liverpool win the Champions League because the will have each ended up with the trophy the other really wanted. It’s the competition Guardiola has been brought to Liverpool to win.”
It’s up for debate whether the Champions League or the Premier League is the bigger prize, but Collymore is spot on to point out that neither club may get the trophy they had their heart absolutely set on.
Guardiola has been unable to win the Champions League since leaving Barcelona and for a manager who has been so successful, that is bound to rankle.
But if Klopp can end his final hoodoo and win the trophy with the big ears, that would get some admiring glances from across Europe, which could be vital in the transfer market in terms of attracting talent the clubs will no doubt be fighting for this summer.