Txiki Begiristain says City will go into next month’s mouth-watering UEFA Champions League quarter-final against Real Madrid with great respect for our opponents but also armed with confidence and belief.

Today’s quarter-final draw in Switzerland served up the mouth-watering prospect of a third consecutive Champions League knockout meeting between the Spanish giants and City.

We have met at the semi-final stage for the past two seasons, Real securing a dramatic 6-5 aggregate win in 2022, before City turned the tables last term, serving up a stunning 5-1 aggregate win on the way to winning the trophy for the first time.

Now the draw has pitted Pep Guardiola and Carlo Ancelotti’s heavyweight contenders together once more, this time at the last eight stage.

Just as 11 months ago, the first leg will be staged at the Estadio de Bernabeu with the Etihad hosting the decider.

And for City Director of Football Begiristain, it promises to be another high calibre contest to savour with City viewing the 14-times European champions with the utmost respect.

But Begiristain also believes the memory of how we served up a stunning 4-0 second leg win over Real in last season’s semi-final decider should infuse City with both confidence and belief.

“Now it’s Real Madrid but we have to remember we beat them last season in the semi-finals so we will try to remember that,” Txiki pointed out.

“We need to remember that we beat them last season in the semi-final and we played at home in the second leg.

“We did a top, top job in the second leg but we need to remember how strong they are and that they are top of their league and that they enjoy this competition.

“It’s the history of Real Madrid. Every time they face up in this competition, they think they are going to win.

“The only thing is that we are confident. We are doing well, we have been in the last years fighting for this competition and at the end we won it.

“Also, the competition that we are doing this year has also been very good.

“We have been winning all games so we hope that we can keep this rhythm. Mentally we are strong. 

“We are going to watch two top, top games, because they have some of the best players in the world.

“[But] any club will be very difficult as to get into the last eight is amazing.”