One of the leading clubs in the English Premier League football competition, Manchester City, who ended at the fifth spot in the standings last season and compete in the Europa League this season, paid a visit to one of the top ranked American Football clubs, the Baltimore Ravens.
Although both teams play a different kind of football, they had immense respect for each others’ abilities, especially the Ravens, as some of their players were awestruck to have the leading football players in the most watched club championship in the world amongst them.
Manchester City made an appearance at the venue of the training camp of the Ravens, which is located in the suburbs of Baltimore.
The Manchester City team is taking a preparatory tour of North America and has planned games against some of the top ranked teams in Europe.
Man City had a match lined-up against Inter Milan on Saturday, the 31st of July, which Inter Milan won by a comfortable margin: 3-0.
The core of the Man City team was at Baltimore, and they spent some time in learning the trades of the American version of football as Shaun Wright-Phillips and fellow teammates met Ravens players Ray Lewis and Trevor Price.
The Ravens were elated to see the Man City players, with the likes of defensive lineman Trevor Pryce, whose family has roots in England, claiming that the team was his favourite in the EPL. "I'm Trevor man. My favourite team in the world.... Manchester City. What's up, guys? I'm looking forward to the season, man. Chelsea's going to fall you watch."
Pryce’s joy was doubled when the Man City squad handed him a team shirt autographed by the squad that had travelled to Baltimore.
"Look what I got! Now I know what the kids feel like when you get autographs,” was his response upon receiving the autographed shirt.
Meanwhile, the joy was all over the faces of the Ravens as their players were keen to share their thoughts with some of their heroes, and above all, learning how to keep their nerves in check in pressure situations that come thick and fast in high level international competitions.
Ed Reed, one of the mainstays of the Ravens squad, told the Man City team that they were his preferred choice on video game console Xbox.
"Just so you know, you are all my favourite team on Xbox. Soon as I cut it on, you pick your favourite team Manchester City."
Man City’s defender Greg Cunningham was one of the players who looked entirely comfortable kicking an American football, and some of the Ravens members joked that he was good enough to play in the local league.
"Yeah I wasn't too bad. Back home in Ireland we play like Gaelic football. It's sort of like that. We have to hit it over the post," quipped Cunningham.
On the other hand, a Ravens team player felt that the English team was good enough to challenge the very best in the American variety of football.
"These guys have a lot of talent. I don't know if they could handle 11 guys rushing at them, but I'm sure if we put them to the test they'd pass."
The English team has already started its exhibition/preparatory tour of the United States; they recorded a 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers.
After a winning start, the Man City team lost 2-1 to the New York Red Bulls the following week.