Skip to main content

Manchester City the best team in world football, says Barton

Pep Guardiola has built the best team in world football at Manchester City, according to the club's former midfielder Joey Barton.

City are on track to win the quadruple, with Guardiola's men 16 points clear at the top of the Premier League and through to the final of the EFL Cup, where they will face Arsenal on February 25.

A 4-0 thrashing of Basel on Tuesday - in which Leroy Sane returned from injury - leaves City with a foot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, while a trip to League One side Wigan Athletic awaits in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday.

And Barton, who started his career at City and played for the club between 2002 and 2007, says his former employers are the real deal.

"Yeah no doubt about it. I think they're the best team in world football," Barton told Omnisport. "At this moment in time, there's no better team in world football than them.

"They're going to have the league wrapped up here in the next 10 games, eight games. I think they'll have it done with a couple of games to spare. They're on for the quadruple at this moment in time.

"I watched them live on Saturday [in a 5-1 victory over Leicester City], it's going to be a good team that's going to stop them. There's some good teams in Europe and there's some big hurdles for them to overcome but I think they've still got a couple of gears to find.

"When they find them... they're going to have players coming back from injury soon - Sane, Gabriel [Jesus], David Silva. I think they're going to go on again and for me they're the best side at this moment in time in world football, but I still think they've got to go and show that big-game experience."

See more

City came unstuck against Monaco in the quarter-finals last season, with Leonardo Jardim's men progressing on away goals after a wildly entertaining 6-6 aggregate draw.

And Barton believes whether City can complete the quadruple will depend on how Guardiola's side handle themselves on the big stage.

"It takes an awful lot of bottle, pressure, handling the occasion, handling the moment," Barton said.

"City are relatively new in those terms in European football, but they've got all the capabilities to do it. It's just whether can keep it all together under pressure.

"It's a challenge for PSG, it's a challenge for Spurs if they progress, it's a challenge for Man City if they get there. The likes of Barcelona, the likes of Bayern Munich, the likes of Man United, they've been there before, they've won European Cups.

"For a lot of the sides - for Man City, for Spurs, for PSG - they haven't and there's a lot to be said for having walked the path before."