Man City, FIFA Club World Cup
Man City celebrate their FIFA Club World Cup win over Fluminense; UEFA teams have won each of the last 11 editions Via @ManCity on Twitter/X

ALABAMA - Manchester City made history on December 22 by becoming the first English team to win five trophies in a single calendar year. With a performance that earned him the Man of the Match award, Julián Álvarez' brace helped Pep Guardiola's team to close out a historic year for the club with a 4-0 win over Copa Libertadores winners Fluminense.

"It's a beautiful, beautiful day," said Guardiola after winning his 4th FIFA Club World Cup title, the most by any manager. "I'm very pleased and I would like to say we had the feeling we would close the chapter; we won all the titles, there's nothing else to win. I had a feeling the job is done, it is over. Now it's Christmas time, we buy another book and start to write it again. The last eight years, it's over."

As the Catalan manager pointed out in a post-match interview, his team has been the benchmark in English and European soccer for since Guardiola's arrival in 2016. The blue team of Manchester on to win a total of 16 trophies under Guardiola, including the club's first UEFA Champions League title earlier in 2023.

Arguably Guardiola's best team since his arrival to English soccer, his 2023 City side became just the 6th different team to win five or more trophies in a calendar year, joining Ajax (1995), Inter Milan (2010), Barcelona (2009, 2011, 2015), Real Madrid (2017), and Bayern Munich (2013, 2020).

Via Opta (@OptaJose on Twitter/X)

Manchester City's convincing victory over Fluminense in Jeddah showcased the disparity between European clubs and the rest of the world. Since Corinthian's famous 2012 team defeated Chelsea in the FIFA World Cup final, UEFA teams gave gone on to win 11 straight titles.

Fluminense's 4-0 defeat this year equaled the worst margin of defeat by any team in the competition's history, tying Santos' 4-0 loss to Barcelona -also coached by Pep Guardiola- in 2011. CONMEBOL will hope the new 32-team format expected to launch in 2025 will offer South American teams a better chance at competing for the top international prize at the club level.

Manchester City will return to Premier League action on Dec. 27 against Everton, as they try to reclaim top spot in the table. With 17 games played, Guardiola's side sit just six points off 1st-place Arsenal and have a game in hand. Guardiola's side could again write another chapter in the English soccer history books if they can successfully defend their Premier League crown, as no other team in the competition's 124 years of history has ever won four league titles in a row.

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