City can challenge Madrid – Sane

Leroy Sane believes Manchester City need to
"improve a lot" to become Champions League
contenders this season, but backed Pep
Guardiola's side to match the likes of holders Real
Madrid.
City were knocked out of Europe's top competition
by Monaco in the round of 16 last season while
Madrid - their opponents in Thursday's
International Champions Cup friendly - went on to
lift their third Champions League title in four years.
Sane scored two goals in four European
appearances during his first season as a City
player and he has set his sights on reaching at
least the semi-finals in the forthcoming campaign.
However, he readily admits that Madrid's success
in the competition has set a high benchmark.
"Real had a very good season last year," Sane told
ESPN FC. "They are the best team in Europe at the
moment, so it will be difficult [to win the
Champions League], but it is a new season.
"They are two-time Champions League winner, so I
think it is going to be difficult, but we can do it if
we improve a lot and work on our problems.
"I don't think we are one of the favourites, but we
can go through to the semi-finals. We have a team
that can do it, experienced young players who play
very well. If we work a lot and improve, we can do
it.
"Pep [Guardiola] has won many trophies and he
gives us a lot of belief. It is a big year. I want to
win some trophies."
City have spent heavily on defenders in the transfer
market, with full-backs Kyle Walker, Danilo and
Benjamin Mendy all moving to the Etihad Stadium.
But Sane believes it is in attack where City remain
strongest, highlighting the importance of Gabriel
Jesus' arrival from Brazilian club Palmeiras in
January.
"We have great striker and midfielders, that's true,"
said Sane. "Of course, up front we want to have a
good season again and hopefully we can score
many goals.
"We are all young and when you are the same age
together you have the same interests.
"Gabriel, of course, is a special player but he is
also very young. When he came over from Brazil,
he was exciting on the pitch and really pleased to
play for Manchester City and everyone could see it.
He is a very special player for us."

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