There will be two answers to that question at Anfield on Wednesday when Liverpool face Manchester City in the first leg of their all-Premier League Champions League quarterfinal.
Put it to a Liverpudlian and it would be akin to asking a poet to reel off his favourite poem. There will be recollections of the heroics of former greats —cheap wholesale nfl jerseys from china Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard — tales of glory in Rome, London, Paris and Istanbul, of Luis Garcia’s “ghost” goal against Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea, and countless memories of the five times that Liverpool were crowned champions of Europe.
Ask a City supporter and they will tell you that their club is now making history rather than wallowing in it. They have enjoyed taunting neighbours Manchester United about “living in the past” and, with Pep Guardiola’s team on the brink of clinching the club’s third Premier League title in six years, can rightly claim to be in the midst of their own historic period.
Yet as abstract as it may be in a football sense, history does matter in the Champions League.
You can’t buy it, touch it or devise a tactical plan to nullify it, but when Guardiola’s men stride onto the pitch at Anfield, and in the return leg at the Etihad next Tuesday, their toughest opponent might be history and the sheer weight of it against them.
A ball has not yet been kicked, but Liverpool vs. Manchester City is already a classic encounter between history and ambition.
It is the old guard against the new wave; empire against uprising. But City are not the first club to find themselves in the position of being wealthy outsiders attempting to gatecrash the elite.
Considering that Chelsea, City and PSG have spent close to ￡3 billion between them over the past 15 years,cheap nfl jersey wholesale it goes to show that old, accumulated wealth and history is still able to resist the power of new money.
But is there an intangible factor that makes it so much more difficult for the emerging clubs to succeed in the Champions League? Does the weight of history act as a crucial inspiration rather than a suffocating burden?