Manchester City are on the verge of scripting a very special place in English football history as they head into the crucial final weeks of the 2022/23 season. The Cityzens have already been able to wrap up the Premier League title, with Arsenal’s defeat to Nottingham Forest on May 20 helping them win it with three games in hand.
City did not look in a comfortable place to win the league, let alone a treble at the start of the year. Things were falling apart as they dropped points in games nobody expected them to and Arsenal soared to going five points clear with a game in hand.
However, the Sky Blues phenomenally upped the antee heading into the final few months of the season. Pep Guardiola inspired his team to go on a 20+ match unbeaten streak, which saw them leap over Arsenal in the Premier League table – march their way to the FA Cup final and oust the odds by defeating defending champions Real Madrid to book a place in the Champions League final in Istanbul.
This will mark only the second time in their history that City have progressed to the Champions League final. The last time they did it was in the 2020/21 season when they suffered a shocking loss to Chelsea. This time around, however, the odds look to be heavily in their favour.
City are operating like an unstoppable machine right now – ploughing through whatever opposition they get. Erling Haaland can’t stop scoring goals, Kevin de Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan are coming up clutch whenever needed and the Manchester giants are playing at an unbelievably high level where no team appears armoured enough to stop them.
In the Champions League final, they’ll meet an Inter Milan side that has been the ultimate underdog in the competition this season. Realistically, however, it’s hard to envision a reality where Inter actually defeats the Premier League champions.
Even though Pep’s side has been haunted by the Champions League curse over the last decade, reality states that the curse will be broken this time around. It might be a bitter pill for their Premier League rivals and those against their Qatar ownership, but City does appear to be huge favourites to win their first-ever Champions League title.
If they are able to finally break their drought in Europe, the Manchester side will have enough incentive to ensure that their memorable season is remembered for a long time. They could potentially even get manufacturers Puma to add a little bit of a memento on their kit to celebrate the Champions League win – sort of a sweet reminder of this special part in their history.
Some excited Manchester City fans are already trying to envision how their home kit can look like next year if the Citizens are able to win the European treble.
One particular fan designed a new version of City’s home kit for the 2023/24 season. In the blue kit, there is the FIFA Club World Cup winners’ golden logo in the middle – just between their club crest and the Puma logo. However, there is an interesting thing added to the sleeves too.
Just around the right sleeve, there is a design to celebrate the potential Champions League win this season. On the side sleeve, there is a black logo of a Champions League trophy with ‘2023’ inscribed in it – to signify them having won it in that year. There is also another design of the award on the left sleeve with ‘1’ inscribed on it.
This is basically to celebrate City having won their first-ever Champions League title in 2023. In reality, however, it won’t be possible for the Citizens actually to do something like this. This kind of special Champions League winners badge is only awarded to clubs that have accomplished a specific set of accomplishments.
Whereas City could show off the cup holder badge on their kits next season, the ‘UEFA Badge of Honour’ is only given to clubs that are able to meet two criteria for the Champions League. A club can only get this special badge if they have won the Champions League at least five times in their history.
Another way to get this badge of honour is for a club to have won the Champions League title on three successive occasions. Unfortunately for the Cityzens, they won’t be able to meet either of the criteria because they have never won the Champions League title before.
Only a handful of clubs are actually eligible to claim this badge of honour if they’re able to win a Champions League title. Real Madrid, who have won it 14 times, obviously can do so as they’ve met both the criteria in their history. The likes of Liverpool, AC Milan and Bayern Munich – who have all won the competition five times or more – are also eligible for this special badge.
As a result, it won’t be possible for City to claim this particular badge even if they win the Champions League final in Istanbul – something which some of their fans don’t appear to know. The Cityzens will need to win the competition this year as well as the next two years consecutively to be eligible for this – but for that – they’ll have to at least win it this time around.