Manchester City and Manchester United are two of the fiercest rivals in world football. Their battle for supremacy in the English Premier League—the most popular league in the world’s most popular sport—is a highly-amplified version of the New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox rivalry in Major League Baseball.
The long-standing rivalry between the two clubs and the financial imbalance that exist in the EPL makes the Yankees-Red Sox comparison more apt than one may think.
Manchester United is clearly the EPL’s version of the Yankees. They own a record 19 league titles; and with an estimated value of $2.23 billion, Man U was ranked No. 1 on the Forbes list of the 50 most valuable sports teams in the world.
Man City, meanwhile, enters the 2012 season as the defending Premier League champions, their first league championship in forty-four years—not quite as long of a drought as the Red Sox endured but you get the point.
Since being purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008, City have become one of world football’s wealthiest franchises, finally giving them the financial muscle to regularly compete with Man U for the best talent in the world.
That talent, led by colorful stars Mario Balotelli and Carlos Tevez, seems poised to repeat as Premier League champions. Here are three reasons why.