(Reuters) – Manchester City must win the Champions League to be considered one of Europe’s elite clubs, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has said.
City have won the Premier League three times since the Abu Dhabi United Group bought them in 2008 but have never gone past the semi-final stage of Europe’s premier club competition.
“If you want to be in the international elite … you need to clinch this trophy,” Gundogan told UEFA.com https://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=2591795.html?iv=true ahead of Wednesday’s last 16 tie at Schalke.
“I think that, if we were to win it someday, the club would enter a new era, the same level as Real (Madrid), Barca, Bayern or Juventus, clubs that are maybe a step above us. Maybe not in the way they play football, but as a club at least.”
City were knocked out in the last 16 three times in the last five seasons while their only semi-final appearance came in 2016 when they were knocked out by Real Madrid 1-0 on aggregate.
“We’ve experienced a lot in the Champions League in recent years, not all of it positive, of course. We should’ve won it at least once,” Gundogan added.
“The biggest low was probably being knocked out by Liverpool last season. For that reason, the motivation to go far in this competition is huge and I think we have the quality required.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)