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David Tenenbaum :
Barcelona has been one of the best teams in terms of player development over the past decade or so, and Messi is only 23. Iniesta and Xavi are going to be up there in five years (Iniesta will only be 31 but Xavi will be 36) so there will probably be new players manning the midfield.
That being said, Chelsea’s youth program has become one of the best in the world recently, so they could continue their relative dominance and perhaps have even more success.
Ed Wyman :
This is a hard question to answer as it is so dependent on who has the money and pulling power to sign the best players over the next few years. Teams like Manchester City and Chelsea have basically come from nowhere to be two of the biggest sides in the Premier League almost entirely due to new ownership that his given them the funds to overhaul their squads and put them in a position to challenge for titles.
This means that it is perfectly possible that a team nobody would have thought of as the best side could be among the best in a few years.
I don’t see Manchester United being the world’s best side in five years time. Fergie may well no longer be the boss, a change that United will take time to adjust to.
Their debt is going to be an issue, Rooney may not be there and Evra may well have left as well. Ferdinand will be 37 and Vidic 35, so a new centre-back pairing will need to be sorted out.
Obviously a side as prestigious as United will have few problems replacing players and even Fergie, but I think the changes could take a while to adjust to and the new rules over spending could hit United if they do have to bring in new players.
Manchester City could be the best side in the world in five years time. In order for City to become the best side in the world, however, they need to finish in the top four this season and break into the Champions League.
Once they have managed that, which looks likely at the moment, they need a buying policy that is not aimed solely at buying every striker on the market and ensure that they are not overly reliant on a single player, as they are at the moment.
The spending rules are likely to hit City harder than most, which is the main reason I think they will not be the best side five years from now.
More likely to be the best side in the world, in my opinion, is Barcelona. They have such a constant supply of youth players that they do not need to conduct a time consuming team overhaul, which would disrupt their performance for a season or more but can slowly integrate new players into the side.
Furthermore, Messi will be 28, still in his prime, Fabregas is likely to have joined and will be 28 and Iniesta will be 31, hardly past it.
Barcelona are having financial difficulties so they could experience problems which force them to sell and stop them from being the number one side in the world, but I think that the nature of the club means that they will have someone to fund them and allow them to be the world’s best side five years from now.
Timothy N :
They have great young talent, solid veteran leadership, and their academy continues to produce the best players in the world.
Roberto Alvarez-Galloso :
The team is beginning a new era with Javier (Chicharito) Hernandez. He has been the wheel behind the recent victories in the Premier League. He is disciplined, quick, fast, yet aggressive.
The other reason has been that Sir Alex Ferguson (who has been technical director since the late 1980’s) has placed emphasis on the same type of game as practiced by Hernandez. He has also left an imprint that will last long after his era.
The last reason is a financial one. I have the feeling that the same supporters of the club will buy back Manchester United from the Glazers and Qatar. It will be the beginning of a club that will be owned by its players, almost debt free, and recovering its soul.
Saura Bhattacharjee :
Chelsea might be investing huge, but they have many promising youngsters coming up through their youth academy and in five years those youngsters will take responsibility from the veterans.
Moreover, the club is likely to achieve break-even in a couple of years which will also make them financially independent. So the future looks very bright for the Blues.
The signing of young players was a step forward in that direction. In five years the likes of Sturridge, McEachran, Borini, Kakuta and others will hit their prime and it will be only forward for the Blues' then.
Moreover, new signing Luiz will too become experienced enough to guide the youngsters as well the Chelsea youngsters. People are criticising Chelsea for investing heavily in new players but they fail to understand that Chelsea are investing after a dull period of five years and these investment will go a long way in ensuring them to becoming the best in five years time.