Vincent Kompany sets sights on Champions League

Manchester City captain 
Vincent Kompany feels the time has come to deliver in the 
Champions League.

Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany,right, says the club are asking the players to win the Champions League now. Picture: Getty
Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany,right, says the club are asking the players to win the Champions League now. Picture: Getty

After three campaigns spent acquiring experience in the competition – last season reaching the last 16 for the first time – Kompany believes it is time to come of age.

City will open their latest challenge against one of Europe’s giants in Bayern Munich tonight and the skipper reckons they belong in such company.

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City have actually grown familiar with Bayern, having been drawn in the same group in 2011-12 and last term, but Kompany is relishing the latest tussle.

Speaking at a press conference to preview the Group E opener at the Allianz Arena, the inspirational defender said: “Every single time you come here is an opportunity to prove yourself.

“We now take it as a challenge against one of the top three clubs in the world. It is one of hardest places to come to.

“It’s time to start making these games close and making up the gap between ourselves and the other top clubs.”

With two Barclays Premier League titles in the past three seasons, City’s development is continuing apace.

Establishing themselves at Europe’s top table is now the next target and Kompany is well aware that expectations at the club are rising.

The 28-year-old said: “You start a season at Manchester City nowadays and it’s not acceptable not to put all the trophies on your ambitions list.

“It’s a case of me and all the players looking at all the trophies and thinking we have to go until the very end of the season. I mean, the club is asking us to win now, so that’s one thing.

“We have come so far in the last four years, we have been successful, but you always want to take it a step further.

“Let’s take it in context – we are not favourites by any means but we would like to compete and challenge.”

With the experience of winning the Premier League under their belts, Kompany even believes clearing the European hurdle could prove relatively more straightforward than breaking through domestically.

He said: “Before we won the league it was more difficult to believe we could do it than with the Champions League.

“My experience of the Champions League is that it’s not more difficult to go to the end – but everything has to be perfect. The Premier League is just a ferocious battle to the end. Eventually it will happen our way.”

Manager Manuel Pellegrini will again have to give his team-talk ahead of the match in the hotel as he completes his two-match touchline ban for controversial remarks about a referee last term.

Striker Stevan Jovetic has failed to overcome a hamstring injury, Pablo Zabaleta is missing through suspension, and midfielder Fernando still has a groin problem.