Roberto Mancini: Man City are future Champions League winners
Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini believes the Citizens will win their first Champions League crown in the future
Roberto Mancini is convinced Manchester City will be crowned Champions League winners in the future.
The Premier League champions take on Real Madrid in their opening Group D fixture at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.
Mancini’s men are looking to improve on last season’s debut campaign in Europe’s premier competition, which saw the Citizens eliminated at the group stage.
The City manager has recruited Javi García, Jack Rodwell and Maicon during the summer transfer window, and the 47-year-old is confident his squad are getting closer to winning Europe’s top prize.
“If you drive a Ferrari you can win, if you drive a Fiat Cinquecento, probably not,” Mancini said.
“In the past we have been working for this. I think we beat good teams but we have played together for two years and we needed time. I am sure we will arrive to win this trophy in the future.
“I do not know when, but I am sure because we are working for this. If we want to improve every year it is possible.”
Mancini’s men will face Madrid, Eredivisie holders Ajax and Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund who retained their Bundesliga crown last season in the group stage.
And the City manager hopes last season’s experience of a tough group containing Bayern Munich, Napoli and Villarreal will help his side progress this term.
“I think it was a good experience last year – we did a good group but it was not enough,” he added.
“I think the group will be stronger this year but it will be difficult for all the teams.
“I think it is important now that we go to the second stage. After February anything can happen, but now it is difficult to say what we can do.”
Real Madrid v Manchester City: Pre match facts
• Madrid won six straight home matches in last season’s competition, scoring 24 goals. Including the 4-0 defeat of Tottenham Hotspur in the 2010-11 quarter-finals, Madrid have a home record of W5 D4 L2 against English visitors.
• City lost three of five games on their European travels in 2011-12 as they finished behind Bayern Munich and Napoli in Champions League Group A.
• Jose Mourinho replaced Roberto Mancini as Internazionale coach in 2008. Mourinho had got the better of the Italian when Porto beat Mancini’s Lazio 4-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the 2002-03 Uefa Cup.
• Mourinho suffered his first defeat as Chelsea manager against City – 1-0 in Manchester in October 2004 – but ended with a record of W4 D1 L1 against them.