Messi's departure unleashes a battle between the Emirates

Fight between Abu Dhabi and Qatar, the states that finance Manchester City and PSG, to achieve the signing of the Argentine star after asking to leave Barcelona.


The petrodollars have served Manchester City and PSG to conquer the Premier and Ligue 1, respectively. But what has not achieved all that money from the Persian Gulf has been the great obsession of its owners, the Champions League. For this reason, and after dreaming about this moment for several years, both clubs have the unique opportunity to sign Leo Messi. A contest that goes beyond the rivalry between two teams to win the winner of six Ballons d'Or, but is a fight between two of the richest countries: the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Both emirates, facing each other and with great political tensions, have spent years leading a race to be the first of the two to achieve the Orejona. The two clubs consider the Argentine the final piece to their projects, which despite having fed them with oil money year after year (even causing sanctions from UEFA for skipping the Financial Fair Play) has not reached them.

Manchester City has the backing of the United Arab Emirates as it is owned by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and member of the Abu Dhabi Royal Family. He is the richest man in British football, according to a report in FourFourTwo magazine, in which they indicate that he has a fortune of 15,000 million pounds. In addition, the sheikh is the president of the investment fund of oil companies IPIC and the owner of City Football Group. A firm that in addition to owning the City also has in its portfolio Melbourne City and New York City and investments in Yokohama, Montevideo City, Lommel SK, Mumbai City and Girona.

Mansour bin Zayed has spared no expense since his landing in Manchester in 2008. He has reached 1,924 million euros from his first star signing (Robinho, € 43M) to the last big requests from Guardiola (Rodri, € 70M, or Mahrez , 68) .

PSG is the other great European club-state and the one that has been closest to Orejona, reaching the last final. The Parisians are backed by Qatar, but despite what everyone believes, Al Khelaïfi is only their president. The owner of PSG is the Emir of Qatar, Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani, who bought the club in 2011 through the firm QIA (Qatar Investment Authority), a sovereign investment fund, which manages and invests the profits generated by oil . The emir is passionate about football, which is why he promoted the purchase of PSG and the organization of the 2022 World Cup. One of Al Thani's objectives is to achieve the Champions League and achieve it before the Emirates. For this, PSG has invested 1,304 million euros in signings, paying even 222 million for Neymar, the most expensive transfer in history, but which has been insufficient to win in Europe. That is why they want Leo, who has become the object of desire of two Emirates and for whom they maintain a pulse.

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