Manchester City should win the Champions League within the next 10 years, according to chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak.
With Saturday marking the 10-year anniversary of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s purchase of the club for £210 million, City’s aspirations over the past decade have grown significantly.
After witnessing City win three Premier League titles in that span, including last season’s triumph, Al Mubarak believes the next step for the club will be a European crown.
“The short answer is, yes we should win it [Champions League] in the next 10 years, and obviously sooner rather than later,” Al Mubarak told ESPN FC. “But it’s hard.
“It took Barcelona almost 50 years to win their first Champions League – it’s a very difficult competition and what makes it even more difficult for English teams is the competition in the Premier League. We have the disadvantage of having to play an incredibly difficult game every weekend. Not all the competition we face in the Champions League has that.
“Every game [in the Premier League] is absolutely difficult, home or away. That’s a fact. It’s real. You can go to any of last season’s bottom three and they are very difficult games. That’s the beauty of this league, but also puts a huge toll – physically and mentally – on those teams competing for the Champions League.”
City have reached the Round of 16 in the Champions League five straight years, including a semi-final exit in 2016 and a quarter-final loss this year.
While they’ve yet to break through in the competition, they’ve fared much better domestically. However, Al Mubarak has a hard time seeing the club reach similar heights as Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United in that regard.
“The dominance that United had, of 13 titles in 20 years, is almost impossible to do in the modern game,” he said. “It is too competitive, too difficult, and that’s the beauty of the Premier League.
“Italy is different, with one team dominating, and it is unfortunate for that league. Germany is the same. You have two or three competitors in each league, but a very dominant No1.
“The Spanish league has three teams competing, but in reality two who can win it year in and year out, but the Premier League – just look at the past three champions.
“But the beauty of what we have today, with Guardiola, is what I believe is the beginning of a period that this club is going to go through, of sustained success in quite a beautiful way.
“Last year was wonderful, and we are very excited about this season, and the years ahead with Pep, this organisation and the group of players we have put together.”