Last night saw the culmination of a remarkable turnaround for a club which, just a few short years ago, could never have dreamt of hitting the heights of European football as they languished outside the Premier League. That's right - Stoke are in the Europa League!
The Potters have Saturday's FA Cup final opponents Manchester City to thank for booking their foray into continental football after Roberto Mancini's side beat Tottenham 1-0 at Eastlands to secure fourth place and with it a place in the qualifying round for next season's Champions League.
Little over a decade ago, Man City were playing Wrexham and York City in English football's third tier. Next season - their two-legged play-off notwithstanding - they will take their place among Europe's elite. Potential glamour trips to the Camp Nou, the San Siro or Ibrox are the reward for them grinding their way into the top four.
More than £160 million worth of talent started for City last night, and that was with two of the club's youth products (Joe Hart and Micah Richards) in the first XI and two big-money strikers (Carlos Tevez and anti-bullying campaigner Mario Balotelli) on the bench.
However, for all of David Silva's twinkle-toes and Yaya Toure's rangy runs, it still took an own-goal from last year's vanquisher Peter Crouch to see them secure the win, from virtually the same spot on the pitch where the England striker headed Spurs into the top four 370 days previously.
It's a far cry from the final game of the 2004-05 season, when then manager Stuart Pearce threw David James up front in an outfield shirt in a desperate bid to unsettle Middlesbrough's defence. It almost worked, too, but Robbie Fowler missed the late penalty which would have put City into the UEFA Cup. Incidents like those feel as though they belong to the history of a different club now.
City goalkeeper Joe Hart insisted last night - as he tried not to swear in his live post-match interview - that the players do not care that so much of the talk regarding ongoing events at Eastlands revolves around money, but it is a subject which cannot be ignored as the primary cause for their sharp upward trajectory.
With the help of big investment from Thaksin Shinawatra then Sheikh Mansour the club has come a long way in just four years, reflected in each season's league position and transfer policy.
The spending has evolved over that time from a scatter-gun approach of signing expensive up-and-comers (Elano, Martin Petrov, Rolando Bianchi), through recruiting big-money misfits (Robinho, Craig Bellamy) to bringing in some of the world's top players (Yaya Toure, David Silva).
Spurs manager Harry Redknapp may have been a little disingenuous by talking repeatedly about City's wealth before the match. After all, he is a manager with some £50m worth of players out on loan this season. However, no one was too surprised when he hinted knowledge of two planned summer arrivals at Eastlands that will "blow your brains out".
City embarrassingly jumped the gun two years ago with their very public ham-fisted attempt to sign Kaka, but now they can offer Champions League football perhaps signings of that calibre are not too far away.
There will be have to be some smart manoeuvring around UEFA's incoming financial fair play regulations, but surely they will find a way to bring in any household name who wants to sign up to the City cause.
As long as those petrol dollars are there to be spent, then it is hard to see how that Blue Moon will stop rising.
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For all the joy after the final whistle, there were plenty of histrionics on the City bench towards the end of the game between Mancini and Tevez.
Mancini said before kick-off that a 20-minute run-out for his captain - out for four weeks with a hamstring injury - would be enough to see if he was fit to start Saturday's FA Cup final, but he only brought him on eight minutes from time after a little bit of verbal jousting between the two.
In all, Tevez played just 13 minutes including stoppage time, but still left the pitch covered in sweat. Tevez would no doubt insist that is due to the 90 minutes' worth of effort he managed to cram into that cameo, but Mancini sees it as reason to still be concerned over the Argentine's fitness.
"It was important that he played 15 minutes. We have four days, I want to take all the time to decide," the Italian said.
"I don't think he can be ready 100 per cent because he played only 15 minutes, he did only one week's training with the team but we have four days (before the game)."
With Mancini wary that his talismanic skipper may still want to leave the club in the summer having submitted then withdrawn a transfer request earlier in the campaign, can he afford not to start him at Wembley?
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QUOTE OF THE DAY: "(The allegation is) a piece of nonsense. He no doubt feels he can revive his dying political career by mentioning that piece of foolishness. I've never asked Triesman nor any other person, Englishman or otherwise, for any money for my vote at any time. In the English World Cup campaign, before he (Triesman) was unceremoniously kicked out, I've spoken to him on his initiative on only three occasions, while I have spoken to his other colleagues on other occasions and not one of his colleagues will ever corroborate his bit of trivia." - FIFA vice president Jack Warner reacts angrily to allegations from former FA chairman Lord Triesman levelled at him and three other FIFA executive committee members asking for bribes in exchange for a vote for England's 2018 World Cup bid.
FOREIGN VIEW: One record was broken in Europe last night, while an amazing milestone is also set to be reached on the continent. Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick in Real Madrid's 4-0 win over Getafe last night means he has broken the great Ferenc Puskas's record for most goals scored by a Real player in a single season.
If that were not impressive enough, should Javier Zanetti play for Internazionale against Roma in this evening's Coppa Italia semi-final, he will be making his thousandth appearance as a professional footballer (with thanks to @JamesHorncastle).
COMING UP: This evening the hooped half of Glasgow will try its best to avoid seeing Walter Smith bow out of Rangers with another SPL title: follow live coverage of Hearts v Celtic at 19:45. Plus there is yet another double bill of Spanish action for you, with Barcelona capable of wrapping up the Liga title at Levante (19:00) and Osasuna hosting Sevilla (21:00).