Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has admitted his side are not there yet when it comes to elite teams in Europe.
However, with his efforts in the Champions League this season, there are plenty of punters who are getting behind the Citizens achieving European success in the near future.
The foundations are in place
After falling short in the quarter-final stages previously, City managed to reach the first Champions League semi-final in their history this season. Mixing it with Ligue 1 big spenders Paris Saint-Germain is exactly where the Premier League giants want to be, and City now find themselves at 4/6 in the Champions League outright odds to win the prestigious tournament this season.
When the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Guardiola took on the role at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, the goals were to make City a dominant force in England, and then go on and win the Champions League. Given the Spaniard’s experience and success in his home country and Germany, some may have expected Guardiola to have already overseen City become champions of Europe. The realists will know that success, especially in the Champions League, takes time. The foundations for European glory now look to be in place, and even if they fall short this season, City should be challenging at the business of the competition for years to come.
The new guard starting to shine
There have been many top players who fell short on getting their hands on the Champions League trophy with City. The likes of Vincent Kompany and David Silva left the club with iconic status, but just fell short in delivering that highly sought-after European success.
The time could be now for the next big names at the club, with the likes of defender Ruben Dias and midfielder Phil Foden enjoying stellar seasons this term. Punters will have seen City be favourites for the Champions League throughout much of the tournament this season, and the club’s young stars have provided plenty of cause for optimism.
One would expect Dias and Foden to only get better with age, and working under Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium is only going to help them progress to the top of the game. The experience of reaching the latter stages of the Champions League this term will stand them in good stead, as City look to be spoken of in the same breath as Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Still work to be done
While City have dominated in the Premier League this season, Guardiola will know there is always work to be done to keep the team competitive, especially in Europe. The Citizens look like they could be set to bring in a new striker in the summer, with Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland just one player to be linked with a move to Manchester.
Another positive summer in the transfer window would see City not only look to stay ahead of the competition in England, but also forge a team that could be a huge force in Europe for years to come.