Mens Team

Begiristain: To be the best you must beat the best

Director of Football Txiki Begiristain says City will relish the prospect of tackling Real Madrid in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Monday's draw pitted City against the Spanish giants with Pep Guardiola's side travelling to the Bernabeu for the first leg on Wednesay, February 26th before Real return to the Etihad for the concluding second leg on Tuesday, March 17th.

Real are, of course, the most successful side in Champions League history, having lifted the crown 13 times so far.

But as he looked ahead to the ties, Begiristain said that 'in order to be the best, City needed to beat the best.'

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READ: City draw Real Madrid in last 16 draw

“Real Madrid are a top side, no doubt so it’s a difficult draw as Madrid have won this competition 13 times so they are the best in the history of the competition,” said Begiristain.

“Though they were second in the group we know their history in this competition, but if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best.

“The best way to start that is with Real Madrid.

“It’s always a pleasure to go and play against Real Madrid and also to play in the Bernabeu

“We are happy to go there, and we know what we will face

“They also know us, they know our manager, but it is a real pleasure to go there.”

With the ties set to be played in late February and early March, City will be hopeful of being able to call on one or two of our long-term injured players.

And Begiristain said it was also important for City to be ‘connected’ in all competitions.

“We always have chances,” added Begiristain. “We have a top side – we have to try to get players fit and back for February when we play the two games.

“And I think we will have our chances to beat Real Madrid.

“We also have to keep connected to all the competitions. 

“If we are connected to all competitions then we have a chance to win one.”

Fixture dates

  • First legs: 18-19 & 25-26 February 2020
  • Second legs: 10-11 & 17–18 March 2020

Full draw

  • Real Madrid v City
  • Borussia Dortmund v PSG
  • Atalanta v Valencia
  • Atletico Madrid v Liverpool
  • Chelsea v Bayern Munich
  • Lyon v Juventus
  • Tottenham v RB Leipzig
  • Napoli v Barcelona
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