Silva: Manchester City must avoid Barcelona, Real Madrid & Atletico in Champions League

The Spain international feels Liga teams are the biggest threat to the Premier League champions’ hopes of European glory this season


David Silva is hoping Manchester City steer clear of La Liga sides in Monday’s Champions League draw, arguing that “the later you play a Spanish team, the better”.

An impressive 2-0 win at Roma on Wednesday saw the English titleholders avoid a third group-stage elimination in four years, as they finished second behind Bayern Munich in Group E, but they will now be drawn against a seeded team in the round of 16.

City have reached the knockout stages of the Champions League just once, being eliminated by Barcelona last season, and Silva is keen to avoid facing the Catalan side again or 2014 winners Real Madrid and beaten finalists Atletico Madrid.

“Well, I prefer anyone else. I don’t want any one of them. The later you play a Spanish team, the better, no?” Silva told reporters.

“They’re all that good that, if you get one, you may as well get one of the others. It’d be a difficult draw. Every team that gets through now, they’re difficult. No matter who we get, we have to be 100%, and have to get a little luck too.”

Silva admits City have struggled in Europe since qualifying for the Champions League on a regular basis but is confident the squad’s gradual improvement will see them win the competition at some stage in the future.

He added: “Well, we have to keep getting better. We’ve come through a very difficult group, a very difficult game and I believe in the team. The last few weeks, after the win over Bayern, I think that match gave us a lot of life.

“The team got a lot better, got a lot of confidence and we’ve got to keep getting better. Any team left can win the Champions League. That’s why they’re here. It’s a long and difficult road.”

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