Top Gear City! Mancini claims his Ferrari side can rule Europe, starting in Madrid
21:43 GMT, 17 September 2012
Roberto Mancini has revved up Manchester City’s mouthwatering clash with Real Madrid by comparing his team to a Ferrari and declaring them capable of winning the Champions League.
City have once again been drawn in a group of death, as the Barclays Premier League champions look to make up for last season’s failure to get past the first stage.
But with Jose Mourinho’s Madrid team first up and challenges against Borussia Dortmund and Ajax still to come, City boss Mancini backed his team to roar off the grid in Spain.
Sightseeing: Manchester City face up to taking on Real Madrid on Tuesday
Mancini said: ‘If you drive a Ferrari you can win. We used to drive a
Fiat or Cinquecento (at previous club Inter) and it is not so easy. But
now we drive a Ferrari.
‘We have a good team and we play together for a few years. I am sure we
will win the trophy in the future. I don’t know when, but at some stage,
the club will win.’
City arrived in Madrid boosted by the return from injury of
Sergio Aguero, and the news that winger David Silva had ignored overtures from their opponents to sign a new five-year contract at
the Etihad Stadium. Mancini and his players will also be encouraged by
Real’s shaky form and the internal problems that seem to be weighing
down Mourinho’s dressing room.
Despite losing their first Champions
League away game at Bayern Munich last season, City will be sent out to
attack, with Aguero expected to start ahead of Carlos Tevez after
recovering from a knee injury
added: ‘If you get a chance, you have to score. A draw could be a good
result, but our mentality is not to defend, we don’t have that
‘If you want to do well, you have to attack very well and play football. That is what we will do.
Tough night ahead: Aleksandar Kolarov (right) and Edin Dzeko take in their surroundings
'I think it was a good experience last year – we did a good group but it was not enough. I think the group will be stronger this year but it will be difficult for all the teams.
'I think it is important now that we
go to the second stage. After February anything can happen, but now it
is difficult to say what we can do.
City face a Madrid team packed with
world stars but Mourinho’s players are struggling under the pressure of
two defeats in four Spanish league games, including a loss at Sevilla on
Mourinho was on predictably cryptic form, following his weekend suggestion that some of his players have not really been trying.
It is clear things are not as they should be at Real but ultimately Mourinho came out fighting.
Plenty to ponder: Roberto Mancini has his sights set on winning the Champions League
In good spirits: Tevez, Toure and Sergio Aguero prepare for the Madrid game
The Real coach, who is expected to hand former Tottenham midfielder Luka Modric a start, said: ‘My conviction is tomorrow that we will have a proper team. I’m absolutely convinced of this.
‘We will have a compact team full of solidarity where the team is the most important thing, where everyone wants to work for everyone else’s sake, a team where everyone wants to play at 100 per cent, regarding personal and professional principles.
‘I think we will be at the top of our
game. We may be missing calmness and self-confidence, perhaps missing
these. And it is not easy to play against a team like Manchester City.
‘Yes, we come from a poor match, where
people know it was a terrible game. But I believe the team believes and
has the ambition and professionalism, I think they will be at the top
of their game. Perhaps I’m wrong but this is my feeling.’
Real test: City train before traveling to Madrid to begin their Champions League campaign