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Two Clubs Make Historic Entry into European Competitions

Berlin, Germany. 29th June, 2024. Michel Aebischer of Switzerland during the Switzerland v Italy UEFA Euro 2024 Round of 16 match at the Olympiastadion Berlin on June 29, 2024. (Photo by: Dimitrije Vasiljevic) Credit: Dimitrije Vasiljevic/Alamy Live News
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Girona FC and OGC Nice are set to make significant strides in European football, with Girona debuting in the UEFA Champions League and Nice participating in the UEFA Europa League. Both clubs’ multi-ownership contexts have sparked discussions in the football community.

  • Girona FC qualifies for the UEFA Champions League for the first time.
  • OGC Nice secures a spot in the UEFA Europa League despite a tough season.
  • Multi-ownership of both clubs raises questions in European football.

Girona FC’s Historic Qualification

Girona FC’s acceptance into the UEFA Champions League marks a historic moment for the club. This will be their first appearance in any European competition. The 2024-25 season is set to be their 95th season and their third consecutive season in La Liga. Key highlights from their recent performance include their remarkable 4-2 victory over Barcelona on May 4, 2024, which cemented their qualification for the Champions League.

Key Players and Transfers

Girona FC has made strategic moves in the transfer market to strengthen their squad for the upcoming season.

  • Incomings:
    • Ladislav Krejčí: Joined from Sparta Prague for €12,000,000 on July 1, 2024.
    • Abel Ruiz: Transferred from Braga for €8,500,000 on July 1, 2024.
  • Outgoings:
    • Aleix García: Moved to Bayer Leverkusen for €18,000,000 on July 1, 2024.
    • Yan Couto, Eric García, Pablo Torre: Returned to Manchester City and FC Barcelona after loan spells.

Under the guidance of manager Míchel, Girona has seen significant success. Míchel has been instrumental in leading the team to their historic Champions League qualification. Girona’s multi-ownership by the City Football Group, which also owns Manchester City, adds an interesting dimension to their participation in European competitions.

OGC Nice’s Resilient Journey

OGC Nice is set to participate in the UEFA Europa League in the 2024-25 season, their 121st season overall and their 23rd consecutive season in Ligue 1. Despite only securing two wins in Ligue 1 during the challenging 2023-24 season, Nice managed to qualify for the Europa League.

Key Players and Transfers

Specific transfer details for the 2024-25 season are still emerging, but the club has been proactive in the market to bolster their squad for the upcoming European campaign.

Francesco Farioli, the current manager, has been working diligently to stabilize the team’s performance. Nice’s ownership by INEOS, led by Jim Ratcliffe, has been under scrutiny due to the club’s performance and investment strategies.

Multi-Ownership in European Football

The acceptance of Girona FC and OGC Nice into prestigious European competitions amidst their multi-ownership contexts is a significant development. Girona’s affiliation with the City Football Group and Nice’s ownership by INEOS highlight the growing trend of multi-club ownership in football. UEFA’s regulations and decisions regarding these ownership structures will be closely watched as these clubs make their European debuts.

Relevant Transfers and Updates

  • Strasbourg: Confident in signing US International Caleb Wiley from Atlanta United despite Chelsea’s interest. Talks led by Patrick Vieira are ongoing.
  • PSG: Secured Gabriel Moscardo in a €22 million deal with no loan back to his former club. This move is part of PSG’s strategy to strengthen their squad amidst transfer challenges.
  • Olympique de Marseille: In talks to sign a versatile Algerian defender as part of their efforts to bolster their defense.

The dynamic nature of football and strategic management continues to shape the landscape of European competitions. As Girona and Nice prepare for their respective European campaigns, fans and analysts alike will be keenly observing their performances and the impact of their ownership structures.

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