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City Football Group acquires major stake in La Liga's Girona FC

Girona downed Manchester City by a narrow 1-0 margin to secure the 41st Costa Brava Trophy.

Manchester City parent group City Football Group (CFG) has completed the acquisition of a major stake in Spanish club Girona FC.

CFG, formed when Sheikh Mansour bought City in 2008, and the Girona Football Group, owned by Pep Guardiola's brother Pere, have bought a 44.3 percent stake in the La Liga side.

City have a close relationship with Girona, having sent several players to the club in recent years, including another five players this season -- Pablo Maffeo, Aleix García, Douglas Luiz, Marlos Moreno and Larry Kayode.

A club statement said: "Girona FC, City Football Group and Girona Football Group want to announce the signing of an agreement for the Girona-based club to be taken over by new owners.

"The club has been acquired in equal parts by City Football Group and Girona Football Group, each owning 44.3 percent of the shares."

Girona are playing their first-ever season in Spain's top flight following last season's promotion and kicked off the campaign with a 2-2 draw against Atletico Madrid. They also played a friendly with City shortly after the Premier League started, winning 1-0.

They follow Major League Soccer's New York City FC, Australian A-League club Melbourne City, Japan's Yokohama F Marinos and Club Atletico Torque of Uruguay as part of CFG. Sources have told ESPN that the group is also interested in trying to acquire a club in China.

Girona beat Manchester City in a friendly in Spain last week.

CFG chief executive Ferran Soriano said: "Girona is a club whose actions have spoken loudest in terms of its ambitions. It has quietly and with great determination and humility achieved promotion to La Liga which is, itself, an incredible achievement. It has also done so whilst playing good football.

"The club's continued ambitions to achieve sustained La Liga status and success while applying those same qualities and behaviours is an ambition we share at City Football Group and the opportunity to invest in the future of Girona was compelling. We will listen and learn, and do whatever is necessary to support the club and its fans in achieving the long-term sustainability they rightly desire."

Pere Guardiola said: "Together, we are confident that we will give the club the backing it seeks, whether the support comes in the form of executive, financial or leadership help.

"I'm convinced that our fans and our shareholders will find in this investment tangible benefits in the coming weeks, months and years."

Girona president Delfi Geli said in a statement: "I am delighted to be able to confirm the new investment per part of the City Football Group and the Girona Football Group.

"These two companies have demonstrated a successful trajectory in their respects and can provide us with an invaluable contribution to continue the hard task that has been achieved in the past years."

ESPN FC Spain correspondent Adriana Garcia contributed to this story.

Jonathan is ESPN FC's Manchester City correspondent. Follow him on Twitter: @jonnysmiffy.

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