Man City chief aims ‘lucky’ Champions League jibe at Real Madrid but insists Blues are not ‘obsessed’ with European glory

Real Madrid Ferran Soriano GFXGetty/GOAL

Manchester City chief executive Ferran Soriano claims Real Madrid were “lucky” to win the Champions League in 2021-22, with the Blancos beating the Blues along the way, but insists that those at the Etihad Stadium are not “obsessed” with European competition.

Big money has been invested at City in pursuit of an elusive continental crown, with some of the finest talents on the planet acquired to work under the guidance of a proven winner in Pep Guardiola.

City continue to fluff their lines, reaching a final and semi-final in the last two seasons, and Soriano believes they need a rub of the green similar to that enjoyed by Madrid as they savoured their 14th triumph in the campaign just gone.

Did Real Madrid get lucky in 2021-22?

The Blancos trailed their knockout ties with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and City during their run through the Champions League last season, but always found a way of getting the job done before edging out Liverpool 1-0 in the final at Stade de France.

Sorriano has suggested that they were fortunate to prevail, though, with the Spaniard telling the Dr. Football podcast: “The Champions League is a trophy that we want, but we know that it is subject to a bit of luck and we are not obsessed.

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“People talk today about the success that Madrid have had in recent years, and I think it would be fair to say that they were a bit lucky. Perhaps I could say that they deserved to lose against PSG, against Chelsea, against us or against Liverpool.”

Sorriano did go on to add that Real endured their fair share of bad luck on a European stage in the 1980s, saying: “People don't remember that in the 80s and 90s [Real] had a fantastic team, one of the best in history, with [Emilio] Butragueno and La Quinta, and they could not win it.

“Milan eliminated them every year. So they were somewhat lucky now, but they were also very unlucky for years.”

Will Man City win the Champions League?

City first graced the Champions League in 2011-12 and tumbled out at the group stage while going on to claim a first Premier League title in dramatic fashion that season.

They failed to progress beyond the last 16 in each of their first four forays into the competition, before reaching the semi-finals in 2015-16.

Guardiola struggled to snap a sequence of three quarter-final setbacks before eventually reaching the final in 2020-21, only to come unstuck against domestic rivals Chelsea.

City suffered a dramatic late collapse against Real at Santiago Bernabeu last season, but will be back for more in 2022-23 and sit among the favourites to bring their long wait for tangible success to a close.

Soriano said of that quest: “We are patient, it is not an obsession, we will win it at the right time.”

Further reading

Were Madrid lucky to win the UCL?

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