English football powerhouse Manchester City have paid at least half a billion euros to reinforce its senior team’s defense since 2016 during the era of Spanish manager Pep Guardiola.
Owned by the City Football Group (CFG), Manchester City spent €509.1 million ($596.4 million) to sign 11 players, including nine defenders and two goalkeepers in the last four years.
Manchester City was sold to UAE investors in 2008. The Abu Dhabi United Group kicked off a project to make the team one of the top football clubs in Europe and around the globe.
CFG was founded in 2014 as the Abu Dhabi United Group had a majority of shares.
The group is funded by Emirati tycoons Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, often referred to as “Sheikh Mansour,” and entrepreneur Khaldoon Al Mubarak, who administers clubs in the UK, US, Australia, Uruguay, India, Spain and Belgium.
The holding’s flagship club is Manchester City.
The team grew financially after the UAE takeover and became a giant in European football.
Club paid €68M to sign Dias from Benfica
Guardiola-led Man City does not hesitate to pay huge amounts of money for defenders and goalkeepers.
This week, it signed 23-year-old Portuguese central defender Ruben Dias from Portuguese team Benfica.
The English club paid €68 million ($79.6 million) to Benfica in transfer fees, according to the German statistic website Transfermarkt.
In 2019, the club acquired Portuguese right-back Joao Cancelo from the Italian powerhouse Juventus for a fee of €65 million ($76.1 million).
Manchester City strengthened its defense with French center-back Aymeric Laporte in 2018, paying €65 million to Spain’s Athletic Bilbao.
Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Santana de Moraes was one of the sensational transfers when he became a City player in 2017. Manchester City paid €40 million ($46.8 million) to sign Ederson from Benfica.
Man City rule England in Guardiola term
During the Guardiola era, the club dominated England, winning back-to-back Premier League titles in 2018 and 2019.
Additionally, Manchester City won the 2019 FA Cup and the English League Cup (EFL) in 2018, 2019 and 2020.
The club reigned English competitions for the last four years but has not yet won Europe’s top-tier title, the UEFA Champions League.
Man City’s best finish in the Champions League was the semifinals in 2015-16 with Chilean manager Manuel Pellegrini.
It hired Guardiola after Pellegrini’s left in the summer of 2016.
In his first season, the team was eliminated from the Champions League in the Round of 16.
Then it reached the Champions League quarterfinals in 2018, 2019 and 2020 as failures in the quarter finals became a habit for the club.
Guardiola signings for Man City defense:
|Player||Position||Season||Signed from||Transfer fee (million €)|
|Ruben Dias||Center back||2020-21||Benfica (Portugal)||68|
|Joao Cancelo||Right back||2019-20||Juventus (Italy)||65|
|Aymeric Laporte||Center back||2017-18||Athletic Bilbao (Spain)||65|
|Benjamin Mendy||Left back||2017-18||Monaco (France)||57.5|
|John Stones||Center back||2016-17||Everton (England)||55.6|
|Kyle Walker||Right back||2017-18||Tottenham (England)||52.7|
|Nathan Ake||Center back||2020-21||Bournemouth (England)||45.3|
|Danilo||Right back||2017-18||Real Madrid (Spain)||30|
|Claudio Bravo||Goalkeeper||2016-17||Barcelona (Spain)||18|
|Angelino||Left back||2019-20||PSV (Netherlands)||12|
*All data and statistics taken from Transfermarkt website
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