MANCHESTER CITY and Paris Saint-Germain both a combined £1BILLION of talent in their 2021-22 squads – but things were once very different.
The two mega-rich clubs go head-to-head on Tuesday night as both clubs continue their desperate battle to break their Champions League duck.
Despite staggering investment since their respective Middle Eastern takeovers, neither team has been able to win Europe's top competition, despite years of domestic dominance.
Last season, the pair faced off in the Champions League semi-finals, with many fans believing one of them would finally get their hands on 'Old Big Ears'.
Man City beat PSG 4-1 on aggregate but were stunned 1-0 by Chelsea in the final.
Despite both clubs being under intense pressure to deliver in Europe, they've come a long way in recent years.
In fact, 13 years ago – when the two clubs first met in Europe – they looked VERY different.
Man City and PSG were drawn together in the same Uefa Cup group after taking very unconventional routes to the tournament.
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Scarcely-believable now, but PSG finished 16TH in Ligue 1 in 2007-08 and only qualify for the Uefa Cup having won the Coupe de France.
City, meanwhile, only booked their place thanks to their FAIR PLAY record after finishing ninth a season earlier.
And on December 3, 2008 the pair finally met for the first time in Europe, with City have been taken over by Sheikh Mansour in September of the same year.
For City, their team was a far cry from the star-studded group we know now, including Kevin de Bruyne, Jack Grealish and Co.
In fact, then-boss Mark Hughes fielded a front-three of top-flight super-flop Jo, Darius Vassell and a 19-year-old Daniel Sturridge.
Vincent Kompany – now a club legend – started in a deep-lying midfield role, with Richard Dunne and Tal Ben Haim preferred in defence.
And the rest of the team featured the likes of Elano and Stephen Ireland, with Dietmar Hamann, Benjani and Ched Evans introduced from the bench.
It was hardly better up the other end of the pitch, with PSG's front-three featuring Chelsea flop Mateja Kezman, Jerome Rothen and Peguy Luyindula.
Just a bit different to Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe…
Among the big names, Claude Makelele started for PSG that day, along with ex-Liverpool man Mamadou Sakho, while Ludovic Giuly came off the bench.
The game ended 0-0 as both teams progressed from the group, despite PSG winning just ONE of their four matches.
The French club beat Wolfsburg and Braga to reach the quarter-finals, only to lose to Dynamo Kiev.
City beat Danish duo Copenhagen and Aalborg before losing to Hamburg in the quarters as Shakhtar Donetsk were crowned champions.
Three years after Man City's Middle Eastern takeover, PSG were also under new management following a cash influx from Qatar Sports Investments.
Both clubs are a million miles away from their 2008 standing – but can either finally win that elusive Champions League title in 2021-22?
The rivalry begins again on Tuesday.
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