Men's Team

Txiki Begiristain hoping City have extra motivation in Champions League

Txiki Begiristain hopes the disappointment of losing last season’s Champions League final can be a source of added motivation as Manchester City prepare to embark on a new European campaign.

Pep Guardiola’s side have been handed a tough test in the group stage, after being drawn alongside Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig and Club Brugge.

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Begiristain is under no illusions as to how difficult this season’s competition will be, but hopes the agonising defeat to Chelsea in June can help focus the team’s mind as we bid to go one better than last season’s run to the final.

“That is always our hope; first to try and keep improving in the competition,” explained our Director of Football after the group stage draw.

“Now the only way to improve is to win it, but that is going to be very difficult.

“My hope is that everyone knows what it takes in that competition to play until the end and to play in the final. And then also, that they know how important and how beautiful it is to win that competition.

“That is my hope, that in our squad there is always going to be an extra motivation because they are going to remember what it means to get to the final and lose it.”

Given the standard of the opposition City will face in the group stage, Begiristain is not looking too far ahead.

In Paris Saint-Germain, we have an opponent he believes has one of the best squads in Europe, whilst Leipzig have European pedigree after reaching the 2019-20 semi-finals and Club Brugge are the dominant team in a league the City chief admires.

The 57-year-old believes it is one of the trickiest assignments in the group stage, which he feels reflects the increasing difficulty of the Champions League.

“After the Porto, Liverpool, Atletico Madrid group [Group B], our group is probably the second most difficult one,” he added.

“It is becoming very difficult. I was with Pep and the staff and we were talking about how we celebrate any time that we go through and it is becoming that.

“You see the groups - the one I remember is Porto, Atletico Madrid, Liverpool and Milan - just to get to the knockout round is going to be unbelievable.

“Some of the big names in football are going to be out. That is the magnitude of this competition.”

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