Manchester City will respect Real Madrid but they won’t fear the 14-time European champions

Manchester City will face a familiar foe in the quarter-finals of this season’s UEFA Champions League. The European champion’s defence of their crown will continue against Real Madrid in early April.

Real Madrid as an opponent needs no introduction. They are 14-time winners of the UEFA Champions League and are the most prestigious club in the history of the competition. Real Madrid is also arguably the biggest club in world football such is their pedigree. Carlo Ancelotti’s side are also the current leaders of La Liga. They lead Girona by 7 points as they look to win another La Liga title. With stars such as Vinicius Junior, Jude Bellingham, Rodrigo, Luka Modric and co their talent can decide any match at any moment. But despite this Manchester City will respect the Madrid juggernaut but they won’t fear them.

Last season’s UEFA Champions League semi-final win over Real Madrid will give Manchester City confidence in this season’s match-up. It is the third consecutive season that the two teams have faced off in the knockout stage of the competition. Pep Guardiola’s side emphatically dispatched Real Madrid en route to their maiden Champions League title last season. That result will be etched in the memory of both teams ahead of their blockbuster matchup this season. Another factor will be that the second leg of the quarter-final tie will be at the Etihad. Real Madrid have traditionally struggled at the home of the world champions. They have yet to win in 5 visits to the home of Manchester City. It may prove an interesting dynamic in this season’s meeting between the two teams.

Speaking before his team takes on Newcastle United in today’s FA Cup quarter-final Pep Guardiola was excited to face off against Real Madrid. He told the media: “It’s a bit like a tradition, three years in a row playing the king of the competition who have won 14 Champions Leagues. It is what it is, hopefully, we can have a good moment. The draw you cannot control. Normally when the people say the draw is easy, you undermine the other opponents. It’s not necessary to say what Real Madrid is in this competition, the second leg is at home but two seasons ago it was away, so it is what it is. We have to do two good games there and here to go through.”

Speaking after yesterday’s draw Manchester City Director of Football Txiki Begiristain said City can approach the challenge of facing Real Madrid full of confidence. He said: “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.”

Manchester City will have respect for Real Madrid when they meet next month. But they won’t fear the Spanish giants based on the lessons learned a season ago.

Tags Carlo Ancelotti European Champions Jude Bellingham Luka Modric Manchester City Pep Guardiola Real Madrid Rodrigo Toni Kroos Txiki Begiristain UEFA Champions League Vinicius Junior