Sergio Aguero believes Manchester City have what it takes to mount a Champions League challenge as they look forward to a third consecutive last-16 tie.
City are already assured of a spot in the round of 16 ahead of Wednesday’s trip to last season’s finalists Juventus.
Aguero and Co. secured qualification with two matches to spare in Group D.
City have bad memories of the last 16, and Barcelona in particular, following back-to-back exits at the hands of the Champions League holders in 2013-14 and 2014-15.
However, Aguero feels City – who will be looking to cement top spot in the group – now have sufficient experience not to fear Europe’s best.
“Since I arrived here, the draw in the Champions League has been very tough on City, and we have always drawn great teams in the group stages, teams which got to the semis or the final,” he said.
“But we have to be prepared for that – in the last few Champions Leagues we have maybe not had the experience, maybe some players did not know what it was to play in the Champions League, but what you respect is the club, isn’t it?
“So the first times were difficult – the nerves, the expectations – but now most of us have enough experience, we have very good players who are going to do a lot for us, and I think we are on the right path. There is still a lot of time to achieve things.”
Aguero is the key to City’s hopes of making an impact in Europe’s premier competition, and the Manchester club will be hoping he can stay injury-free until the end of the season.
The Argentina international striker returned from a six-week injury lay-off last week, scoring a goal in City’s 4-1 humbling at home to Liverpool on Saturday.
Aguero’s hamstring setback, however, will not force the 27-year-old into altering the way he plays.
“You cannot truly measure the intensity with which you play,” he added.
“And on top of that, I always try to kick into top gear. I can’t imagine playing in any other way.
“Sometimes these unfortunate things happen but the ultimate reward only comes if you give it your all.”
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