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Mahrez: Champions League success would be a dream

Riyad Mahrez says achieving Champions League success with Manchester City would be a dream.

Pep Guardiola’s side resume action in Europe’s elite knockout tournament on Tuesday when we travel to Tottenham for an eagerly-awaited Champions League quarter-final first leg assignment at Spurs’ new £1 billion Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It’s the latest challenge as City maintain our quest for what would be an unprecedented quadruple with the Club having already lifted the Carabao Cup, booked a place in the FA Cup final and just two points off top spot in the Premier League with a game in hand.

And as he looked ahead to Tuesday’s tie – and what promises to be a thrilling season finale – Mahrez said achieving success in the Champions League would be ‘incredible’.

“Winning it (the Champions League) would be really incredible,” said the Algerian winger.

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“I’ve always wanted to win this type of competition. I wanted to play in it and win it because I’m a guy who always wants to win and improve.

“We shall see. We’ll have to beat Tottenham first and then we’ll see. To be honest, it is normal for that to come into your head. You think about it and the fact that you could win the quadruple.

“You could win the Champions League and the Premier League, but you could also lose it all. You can lose the title, you can get knocked out of the Champions League or the [FA] Cup, so the coach really insists on us taking it game by game and not really looking too far ahead.

“We’re really excited about our upcoming fixtures, but the most important thing is to be fully focused.” 

There will, of course, be a familiar flavour to the quarter-final, with both sides knowing each other well from the Premier League.

And Mahrez said he believed that there were both positives and negatives to facing English opposition in Europe.

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“It can be an advantage and it can be a disadvantage at the same time. There are so many factors to take into consideration,” Mahrez added.

“We know them, but they know us as well, so that’s the thing.

“I think it could be an advantage because we’ve already faced them many times and we’ve already beaten them, but maybe knowing each other very well could also be a disadvantage.

“I think a Champions League quarter-final is the same, whether it’s against an English or foreign side. It’s still a quarter-final so we have to try to win and implement everything.”

With games coming thick and fast, the next few weeks will be a demanding challenge, both physically and mentally, for the City squad.

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But Mahrez says that such is the quality in the squad, every City player will have a vital role to play between now and the end of the season.

“We need everyone. As I said, everyone is so important in this team and has their role to play in our game,” Mahrez continued.

“Everyone has done something throughout the season, whether it’s scoring goals, registering assists or defending well.

“Everyone has done their bit and as the coach says, we need everyone and that’s how you can get to the next level.

“I think we have a superb squad of players, with so much quality and a wonderful coach, so everything is in place for us to go all the way, but we might come up against a team that’s better than us or we might play badly.

“In either case, given how we are doing now, I know we’ll implement everything and do all we can to try to go all the way.”

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