The City skipper says Pep Guradiola’s runaway Premier League leaders have the quality, experience and focus to go all the way and match Real Madrid, Barcelona and Bayern Munich.
Kompany says City have come a long way since their first game in the competition – a 1-1 draw with Napoli in September 2011 – and after two group stage exits, three last-16 defeats and one semi-final appearance, they feel able to deliver the biggest club prize.
Ahead of tonight’s last-16 first leg against Basel – their 57th game in the competition – he said: “I wouldn’t say we’ve suffered from an inferiority complex in the past a but a lack of experience for sure. We’ve been caught out on occasions when we shouldn’t have been but things have changed.
“If there is year, a moment, when the club is ready to feel at home in the competition then it’s now. I’m not going to say it’s a matter of time – some clubs never win it – but if every year we can go into it with this kind of confidence then, if not this year or next year, eventually we’ll get there. I’m sure of it.
“It’s one thing for us to make that statement but another for us to go out and do it. In previous years we’ve felt how difficult it is. We are trying to break into a well-established order – Barcelona, Bayern, Real Madrid – and any team who has tried it has failed.
“First though it’s Basel then getting to the stage where we can measure ourselves against these teams and feel like we can beat them.”
City have been boosted by the quick return of Leroy Sane who is back in the squad for tonight’s game just over a two weeks since suffering ankle ligament damage that was expected to keep him out for six or seven weeks.
Guardiola is surprised and delighted by Sane’s rapid return and praised the German international’s recovery work.
“Yes, I’m surprised. He has worked a lot, he’s young but I couldn’t expect him to be so professional. He’s not in perfect condition but he wants to help us. He’s with us and that is good News. The physios and Leroy have done a good job.”
While Kompany talked up Manchester City’s chances of winning the Champions League, Guardiola was more cautious insisting his target was to do better than last season when they were knocked out on away goals at this stage after drawing 6-6 with Monaco – the first time in his managerial career he had failed to reach at least the last four.
He said: “I really I don’t know if we are ready but I have a lot of confidence in the guys. This this competition is special and our target is to do better than last season by reaching the quarter finals. After that we will see.”
Guardiola has happy memories of his only previous visit to Basel nearly 10 years ago. His Barcelona team won a group stage game 5-0 at St Jakob-Park on their way to lifting the Champions League in his first season as their coach.
“Yes, it was a great moment for me, it was my first year at Barca, my first season in the Champions League and it was a good performance. I’m happy to be back here.”
Guardiola is well aware however that Basel, second to Young Boys of Berne in the Swiss Super League have an impressive home record against English teams in Europe, having twice beaten Manchester United – the last time in a group game in November – as well as Liverpool and Chelsea.
Basel boss Raphael Wicky acknowledged the size of the task ahead of his side when he said: “Manchester City is a team that has no weaknesses.”
Source : EXPRESS