While Manchester may be considered the newly-installed capital of football, in France a potential rival wants to maximise its location in one of the world’s most iconic cities and become a new European superpower.
It is a theme that Paris Saint-Germain’s sporting director Leonardo – appointed following a takeover by Qatar Sports Investments (QSI) in June – returns to again and again as he outlines his plans to revive a club that last won the French league title in 1994.
“It’s impossible to disconnect the club from one of the biggest cities in the world, with everything it has,” Leonardo told the BBC. “The main project is to be one of the best teams in Europe and to do that we have to use everything in this city to put PSG at a high level.”
As well as frequent references to Paris’s importance to the PSG project, Leonardo’s conversation is peppered with talk of dreams and passion: his passion for his new role, the drive of the club’s new Qatari owners to resuscitate the club and the dream of winning the Champions League.
“I really believe that one day PSG can play in the first position of the Champions League,” said the 1994 World Cup winner in his first English-speaking interview since his appointment.
“We have to create a base of the club and then we can do a lot of things for the society we live in. Football has a responsibility to transmit a good message – of dreams.
“We are creating dreams – we are not creating only a company.”