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The Premier League champions may not yet have the global following of other teams, but with their continued success comes famous faces.
As the dig went, supporters of local rivals Manchester United, along with other well established clubs like Liverpool, Real Madrid and Barcelona, all came from further afield. Manchester City fans, just like those of Everton, Atlético and Espanyol, were born and bred in the city of the team. True fans. Not armchair glory hunters.
Well, the first thing to note is that this was never really true. The perception came from these historically successful clubs having amplified their local fanbase around the globe, but they never lost their home city hardcore. It’s in the blood, it lives on through generations. But the claim by the ‘smaller’ rivals was something to cling onto as silverware was being piled up on the other side of town.
The problem with this stance is that times change, if painfully slowly for these matters. As Pep Guardiola’s City stars prepare themselves for the ultimate Champions League glory -- one they’ve invested billions in to achieve -- it’s clear that the club’s following is spreading far beyond the M11 postcode.
For those of us who travel around the world, the sky blue shirts are less surprising on the backs of kids who may well have never stepped foot on English ground. And the Etihad club can expect more and more celebrities to latch on to their growing success. It’s good for the image.
Manchester City’s famous fans
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More will follow...