Mens Team

Txiki: City ready to challenge in Europe

Txiki Begiristain believes Manchester City possess a squad capable of competing to win the Champions League.

The Blues were drawn alongside Shakhtar Donetsk, Lyon and Hoffenheim in Group F at today’s group stage draw in Monaco.

And having gone out at the quarter-final stage last season, the City director of football believes the depth of strength in the squad assembled by manager Pep Guardiola harbours well for the Club’s 2018/19 European aspirations. 

“The Champions League is very important every season. We want to be stronger in Europe and we want to have the opportunity to fight for this Champions League,” said Begiristain

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“We are getting close but we want to be closer than last season and we want to be there.

“In England to win back-to-back Premier League is important so we have to focus on all competitions. Of course, it’s very good.

“We have two good players in almost every position, so we are ready to go for everything.

“The idea was to create competition in every position. Aymeric Laporte came in January, Benjamin Mendy is fit again and we bought Riyad Mahrez. We feel we have a very, very good squad.”

However, the former Barcelona and Spain star believes the Blues will have to be at their best to ensure they progress from the group stages.

Ukrainian champions Shakhtar are familiar foes, having been in City’s Champions League group last season, and while French rivals Lyon and German side Hoffenheim are unfamiliar to City, Begiristain says no-one at the Club will be taking them for granted.

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Txiki added: “It’s never easy. We know Shakhtar and we are back against them. We had some difficulties trying to beat them at home last season, so we have to remind ourselves how difficult it is going to be.

“Then we have two very good clubs in Lyon and Hoffenheim. They have done a very good job over the past few years, so it won’t be easy.

“Shakhtar have the capacity to regenerate their squad. They are good sellers, but they are also good buyers. They buy the talent, develop them and then sell. They are good at this.”

Ticket information for our Champions League games will follow in the coming days

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