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30th Mar 2018

Barcelona legend Xavi admits Manchester City are favourites for Champions League glory

"The rest of the teams are a step down."


Praise indeed.

When it comes to Champions League football, few in the modern game can speak with as much authority as Xavi. The 38-year-old may be plying his trade for Qatari club Al Sadd SC these days, but his record and breeding speaks for itself. Having won the trophy in 2005/06, 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2014/15, he knows what it takes to reach the pinnacle of club competition.

And despite being a Barcelona man through-and-through, the little magician admits that Manchester City are amongst the favourites to prevail in Kiev come May. So much so, that barring his alma mater, fierce foes Real, Bayern Munich, and City, he feels everyone else is a rung below in terms of overall quality.

Pep Guardiola’s men have been drawn against fellow Premier League hopefuls Liverpool in the quarter-finals, but Xavi is in little doubt who has the advantage.

Speaking to Goal, the Barca legend admitted:“I think we have four favourites. Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Bayern Munich. The rest of the teams are a step down. But we will see. With the Champions League we never know what will happen.”

Manchester City fans will no doubt love such high praise from a modern legend of the game.