Pep Guardiola’s men discover our 2019/20 group stage opponents on Thursday afternoon, as the Premier League Champions embark on our ninth successive European adventure – the longest current run of any English side.
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With last season’s late heartbreak in the topsy-turvy quarter-final tie against Tottenham still fresh in the mind, both De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva insist City are determined to make history once more, having dominated on the domestic front.
The Belgian played a key role in helping City to the semi-finals in 2016 – our best finish in the competition – netting in both legs of the quarter-final second leg triumph over Paris Saint-Germain.
The midfield maestro bagged a stunning winner at the Etihad Stadium, after Manuel Pellegrini’s men had earned a hard-fought 2-2 draw at the Parc de Princes.
City were narrowly edged out by Real Madrid in the last four clash, falling to a 1-0 defeat at the Bernabeu following a goalless draw in the home leg.
The Belgian playmaker admits the Premier League Champions have not had luck on our side but hopes fortune will favour the brave this time around.
“I think we played brilliantly in the second game against Tottenham,” he reflected, “and we should have gone through.
“It’s the way it goes – you have to take it and this year, we will be there again.
“It’s not about improving. At the end of the day, it’s just the way it goes.
“We’ve been out in the last four years I’ve been here and three times, it was almost a draw. Against Real Madrid in the semi-finals, it was just one own goal.
“The level is so high that the difference between the teams is so minimal.
“We will try and see what’s going to happen.”
Starring in Monaco’s sensational 2016/17 campaign, Bernardo also reached the semi-final stage with the Ligue 1 outfit, defeating City in the Round of 16 with a remarkable win on away goals.
City had triumphed 5-3 in an unforgettable rollercoaster first leg tie in Manchester but fell to a 3-1 defeat in the return leg.
Leonardo Jardim’s side were eliminated by eventual runners-up Juventus in the last four, losing 4-1 on aggregate.
“In a way, it’s the trophy we are missing,” Bernardo conceded.
“Obviously, we want to keep going and keep winning things in England. The Premier League is the most important trophy by far and then obviously, the cups if we can.
“The Champions League is a special competition – it’s very difficult to win it – but we want to try and do better than the last two seasons and I think we can do it.”
The group stage draw will take place on Thursday 29 August at 5pm BST (6pm CET) at the Grimaldi Forum, Monaco. The ceremony will be streamed live via UEFA.com, plus we'll have live coverage on Twitter @ManCity and reaction right here on mancity.com.