Manchester City

Man City aren't a superpower like Utd, Barcelona & Real Madrid - Hughes

09:05 SAST 2018/05/13
Vincent Kompany Manchester City 2017-18
The former Red Devils striker and Blues manager believes those at the Etihad Stadium have some way to go before they can be considered truly elite

Manchester City have come “a huge distance”, admits Mark Hughes, but they are not yet a global superpower like Barcelona, Real Madrid and arch-rivals Manchester United.

Pep Guardiola’s class of 2017-18 have swept to the Premier League title in record-breaking style, while also landing the Carabao Cup as part of an impressive domestic double.

They were, however, to come up short in Europe once again, with Liverpool dumping them out at the quarter-final stage of the Champions League.

There will be many more continental quests to come, and the promise of more silverware at home, but former Blues boss Hughes feels they still have some way to go before being considered truly elite.

The ex-United striker said ahead of a final day meeting with City in his current role as Southampton manager: “The name of Man City does not resonate like the Real Madrids, Barcelonas and Man Uniteds of this world, yet.

“I say ‘yet’ because if they continue in the same vein and have the ­resources to go into the market like they have done in recent times, then clearly they will become a huge power in world ­football.

“But it takes time and it is only the early stages.”

Hughes spent 18 months in charge of City between June 2008 and December 2009, before making way for Roberto Mancini, and concedes that a big-spending outfit are capable of establishing an era of domination if their rivals are unable to bridge the quality gap.

The Welshman added: “When I ­became manager of Man City they were just a mid-table Premier League team. What is that, eight years ago?

“They have come a huge distance in a short space of time, so you can’t start saying they are the best there has ever been ­because you need to do it over a longer period.

“They have the potential and ­resources to be able to affect the top end of the ­Premier League and European trophies for 10, 15 years.

“And they could well become the team of this generation, like United and Liverpool before and Chelsea and Arsenal in between. It is up to everybody else to try to stop that.

“Irrespective of all the resources at any one time you can only play 11 players.

“You might have 11 ­exceptional players, but the teams around you might have that as well.

“Now the Premier League is not a ­British league or a ­European league, it is a world league.”