There’s only one way to find out…
There is no question about who are the favourites in tonight’s Champions League quarter-final between Barcelona and Manchester United.
They might be at Old Trafford, but the betting markets give Barcelona a 50-50 chance of winning, giving United little better than a one in three chance of victory.
But Barcelona are not only favourites with the punters. They’re the fans’ favourite too. That much can be seen from the relative sizes of the two clubs’ social-media audience.
But it seems the English club are more effective at leveraging their popularity, because in financial terms, these two giants of the global game are neck and neck.
In football of course it ain’t what you’ve got but how you spend it. And in those terms at least, Barcelona fans are the clear winners. They have one of the most successful teams of the past 10 years and it has been constructed through some of the highest football investment in the world.
With regard to what they pay their players, United trail Barcelona by fully 30%. And with reports emerging that Manchester United players will be dealt with pay cuts if they fail to qualify for next season’s Champions League, it is hardly any wonder there is so much speculation over the future of Paul Pogba et al. That, though, is for another day. There’s a Champions League quarter-final to be played first.