Barcelona’s Pursuit of Success: A Shift in Influence and Ambitions

Barcelona, once the envy of clubs worldwide, finds itself in a position of transition and reflection as they navigate a challenging period in the 2023-24 season. Following recent losses and ongoing criticisms of their performances, the Catalan club is seeking answers on how to regain their status among Europe’s elite.

One significant observation from former Manchester City players, Ilkay Gündogan and Sergio Agüero, sheds light on perceived differences in standards between their previous club and Barcelona. Gündogan highlighted a lack of frustration, anger, and emotion after their defeat to Real Madrid, while Agüero expressed contrasting training routines and the absence of early arrivals. These observations add to the growing scrutiny of Barcelona’s attention to detail across all aspects of the club.

As Barcelona reflects on back-to-back Champions League exits at the group stage, the focus now lies on identifying areas of improvement to compete with Europe’s top teams once again. Gündogan, during a team meeting after El Clásico, expressed his desire to leverage his success and experience from his time with Manchester City to guide Barcelona back to glory.

Barcelona’s pursuit of success has led them to target City players such as Gündogan, João Cancelo, Ferran Torres, and Eric García. The influence of Pep Guardiola, who spearheaded Barcelona’s golden era from 2008 to 2012, has captivated Barcelona’s ambitions, with Bernardo Silva being a well-known target for the Catalan club.

The relationship between Barcelona and Manchester City runs deeper than player transfers. The migration of personnel from Barcelona to City, such as CEO Ferran Soriano, director of football Txiki Begiristain, and Omar Berrada, City’s chief football operations officer, highlights the significance of Barcelona’s influence in City’s rise.

While sources from City deny an intention to recreate the Barça model, their recruitment strategy aimed to appoint the best individuals in their respective fields. However, it is evident that many key figures within City’s structure have strong connections to Barcelona. The collaboration with Barcelona-based companies, including Mediapro for documentaries and Roca i Junyent for legal expertise, further strengthens the ties between the two clubs.

As Barcelona seeks to regain their former glory, they must analyze the influence of their past successes and the ambitions of their rivals. The convergence of both clubs’ paths, with City now embodying what Barcelona once represented, presents a compelling narrative in contemporary football. Barcelona’s journey to reclaim greatness rests on identifying their unique strengths and evolving in a football landscape that constantly shifts and adapts.


1. What differences did former Manchester City players notice at Barcelona?

Ilkay Gündogan highlighted a lack of frustration, anger, and emotion among Barcelona players after defeats, while Sergio Agüero noted contrasting training routines and a different approach to punctuality.

2. Which Manchester City players have joined Barcelona?

Barcelona has acquired the services of Ilkay Gündogan, João Cancelo, Ferran Torres, and Eric García, highlighting their interest in players influenced by Pep Guardiola’s philosophy.

3. How deep is the connection between Barcelona and Manchester City?

The connection runs beyond player transfers, with Barcelona personnel, including CEO Ferran Soriano and director of football Txiki Begiristain, holding influential roles at Manchester City. Collaborations with Barcelona-based companies and the presence of individuals with Barça connections within City’s structure further emphasize the relationship between the clubs.

4. Did Manchester City aim to replicate the Barça model?

Although City claims their intention was to appoint the best individuals for the club’s growth, the presence of multiple staff members with Catalan or Barça connections suggests a certain influence and admiration for Barcelona’s model of success.