Emulating final season’s semi-final run is a target for Manchester City regardless of being drawn in a Champions League group alongside Barcelona.
Manchester City director of football Txiki Begiristain hopes the club can reach the final four of the Champions League once much more in spite of being handed a difficult group assignment at Thursday’s draw in Monaco.
Begiristain, coach Pep Guardiola and an ex-Barcelona contingent at City that now consists of freshly signed goalkeeper Claudio Bravo will travel to Camp Nou on October 19 prior to a return match on November 1 inside the middle of their Group C campaign.
City have been knocked out inside the last 16 by Barca in 2014 and 2015 prior to a far more favourable route helped them towards the semi-finals, exactly where they have been unable to have previous eventual winners Genuine Madrid last time about.
Borussia Monchengladbach, who the Premier League side battled to a pair of victories against in last season’s group stage, and Scottish champions Celtic complete the line-up for a round-robin section Begiristain is relishing.
“It’s not a nightmare simply because we’re in a wonderful competitors, we are seriously content,” he told BT Sport.
“It is extremely, very challenging group with Barcelona, Borussia Monchengladbach and Celtic – a huge game once again, no?
“We are happy because we are there. We got towards the semi-final final season and we wish to be there once more.”
Begiristain hopes Guardiola’s tussles with Gladbach across three seasons as Bayern Munich boss will stand City in good stead despite the fact that he concedes Celtic – below former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers – represent much more of an unknown quantity.
“At least he knows Borussia Monchengladbach incredibly nicely. Possibly it is actually not an benefit but a minimum of he knows them,” he mentioned.
“Also he knows Barcelona and we are going to clarify to him extra about Celtic.
“It is an amazing competition and it’s going to become an amazing group.”
Begiristain added: “Both games have been difficult [against Gladbach final season], in Germany and at property. It is going to be once more.
“They are a really, pretty strong side and, certainly, Barcelona is always a favourite.”