Mens Team

UCL draw: Txiki expecting 'great football'

City’s Director of Football Txiki Begiristain expects to see ‘great football’ played between the four clubs that make up Group C.

The Blues will face familiar opposition in Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk, while meeting Croatian giants Dinamo Zagreb and Serie A side Atalanta for the first time in European competition.

After last season’s VAR heartbreak against Spurs in the quarter-finals, City will be targeting another run to the latter stages of the competition in this, the ninth successive year in Europe’s premier tournament.

“Of course, we know Shakhtar very well,” said Txiki. “They are always difficult, and this will be the third time we have been drawn together.

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“Zagreb and Atalanta are new opponents for us, but both teams play really good football and I think you will see some great games in this group.

“Atalanta did really well last season, they are strong and played good football – Italian teams are always tough to play against. Zagreb, too.

“It will be difficult, but we are confident and as I say, I think you will see some really good football played in this group.”

Txiki added that, while the Champions League is very much a trophy City want to win, dominating domestically remains the top priority for the Club.

“We have to keep being strong in our country and if we do that, we know we will have a chance in this competition,” he said.

“It is important to be ourselves when we play and keep doing things our way. We have to keep fighting and if we do all that, we will be close.

“We have shown we can win trophies and win the Premier League and we just have to be ourselves – in the Champions League, everything has to be perfect because if you have one mistake in the quarter-finals, you are out.

“So, it is important to keep playing the way we believe, keep things tight and keep fighting.”