Competition Focus

‘FC Barcelona Can Win Champions League’

FC Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan believes that his new club can reach the final of the Champions League and even win the tournament for the first time in eight years.

The German international is a reigning holder of Europe’s elite competition after captaining Manchester City to lifting the big-eared trophy in Istanbul last term.

Shortly after, he decided to end a seven-year stint at the Etihad under Blaugrana legend Pep Guardiola to join Barca on a free transfer.

Despite his new employers’ financial predicament and injury problems, Gundogan told Barca’s official media channels that Xavi Hernandez’s men “can play very good football and compete with the best in the world”.

“If we manage to have a constant performance on the field, game by game, without thinking about the results we hope to achieve because the other teams are also very good, we can go far …,” he added.

Of the Champions League, where Barca currently top their group with a 100% record and no goals conceded, Gundogan revealed that he thinks the Catalans “can reach the final and even win it”.

“Hypothetically speaking, I can think about what the team needs to go as far as possible.”

“Fortunately we have a coach who has already won the Champions League. I guess there are four or five players in the team who have won a Champions League and we have an important role to guide the other players.”

While such positive thinking is a step in the right direction, however, the 32-year-old accepts that a very young squad on the whole still needs time to gel.

“We need more time, more games, to get used to playing with each other more and more. I think at least we have the potential to go far,” he concluded.

With the international break upon us, Gundogan will not be seen in club action until Athletic Club’s October 22 trip to the Montjuic.

After that, Shakhtar Donetsk travel to the same ground midweek before Real Madrid grace it with their presence for the veteran’s first ever league edition of El Clasico on the 28th.

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