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Why Manchester Is Heading For European Glory

Football News 24/7
On the day that Sir Alex Fergusson finally relented and talked directly to the BBC, the Champions League darw was kind to Manchester City as they joined Europe's top table. City officials sat quietly but euphorically in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, rubbing shoulders with dignitaries from Barcelona and Real Madrid, watching as legends of the game like Luis Figo, Sir Bobby Charlton, Paul Breitner, Lothar Matthaus and Ruud Gullit made the Champions League draw.

''The football club is making history,'' Brian Marwood, City's football administrator, said after Roberto Mancini's men were pitted against Bayern Munich, Villarreal and Napoli in Group A.

 ''It's the first time City have ever competed at this [Champions League] level and it's such an exciting time for everyone connected with the club to be sat in a room with some of the best teams in Europe and the world. It's a fantastic moment for the club.''

''Given how we've built the squad over the last three years we feel we can have a tilt at four competitions,'' Marwood said.

Even Manchester United's chief executive David Gill was delighted with City's re-emergence. ''It's good for Manchester to have two teams in the Champions League,'' he said and the bookmakers agree, with City and United both at the top of the list to win the competition outright.

Commercially, TV executives everywhere will be hoping the two sides meet at some point in what would be one of the biggest games of the decade so far. City have been in United's shadow for too long but with the financial clout to match any team in Europe the only question is - can Mancini deliver for the Blue half of Manchester as Fergusson has for the Red half.




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