Manuel Pellegrini insists Manchester City are destined to win the Champions League despite their recent struggles in Europe.
City have been eliminated at the last 16 stage in the past two seasons, while they were sent packing in the group stages in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
But Pellegrini, who guided Villarreal to the semi-finals and Malaga to the last eight prior to taking over at the Etihad, insists he is confident City will eventually become European powerhouses.
“We have played Barcelona in the last two years and if we had played Barcelona at Villarreal or Malaga then maybe we wouldn’t have gone so far,” he said.
“This is a very young team compared with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Juventus. We are younger than the teams who normally win the Champions League over the last 10 years.
“Our team has only arrived in the last few years and we are improving every season.
“That will continue and I am absolutely sure that we will arrive to be an important team that wins the Champions League.”
City, who were thrashed 4-1 by Tottenham on Saturday as they gave up top spot to rivals Manchester United in the Premier League, visit Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Wednesday, but Pellegrini maintains that his side will not lose focus on their domestic ambitions as they bid to achieve European success.
“Being a strong team in Europe must be our target but not at the expense of the Premier League,” he said.
“One fake game in the Champions League and you can be out, while the Premier League is all about the work you do over the entire year.
“We must not concentrate on the one thing. It must be a target – but not an obsession. One day, though, we are going to be a strong team like Barcelona are today.”
City opened their 2015-16 Champions League campaign with a 2-1 loss to Juventus.