Pep Guardiola can enhance his Manchester City legacy by guiding the club to Champions League glory, according to former Arsenal and Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole.

City beat Spanish champions Real Madrid 2-1 in last week's last-16 second leg to seal a 4-2 aggregate victory and advance through to the final-eight mini tournament in Lisbon.

Lyon are up next in Saturday's quarter-final clash as City look to reach the last four for just a second time, where Bayern Munich await after their 8-2 demolition of another of Guardiola's former teams, Barcelona.

Cole is a big fan of Guardiola's work and believes more silverware could follow should the Catalan coach end his nine-year wait for a third Champions League trophy.

But the Chelsea academy coach also warned Guardiola may use the opportunity to bow out in style, having already won a clean sweep of domestic honours at the Etihad Stadium.

"He's done a great job at Man City in terms of transformation," Cole told Stats Perform News.

"He's got them playing beautiful, attacking football with an understanding of rotation and it's good on the eye.

"But who knows? If he wins the Champions League, you never know what might happen.

"As a football fan and someone who enjoys watching City play, I'd of course love Pep to stay and continue the legacy he has started and keep fighting for trophies."

However, Lyon took four points off City in last season's knockout stage and dumped Italian champions Juventus out of this year's competition in the first knockout stage.

And Cole, who spent two seasons playing under Lyon boss Rudi Garcia at Roma, says City cannot look past the contest at the Estadio Jose Alvalade.

"Some people might say it's an easy task for Man City, but Lyon have come through some difficult games," he said.

"To beat Juventus over two legs and qualify shows the quality they have. I know the quality Rudi Garcia has - tactically he is very aware, so it will be a very tough game for Man City.

"It's not an easy task for City and I think this will be a very difficult game. Anyone can win it.

"Lyon have some very dangerous players. I think Lyon could win, Man City could win."

Goodbye Quique Setien?

Barcelona's Champions League horror show against Bayern Munich is reportedly the final straw for the club's hierarchy.

Who will replace the former Real Betis boss at Camp Nou?

 

TOP STORY – BARCA TO SACK SETIEN

Barcelona have decided to sack head coach Quique Setien, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

LaLiga giants Barca were humiliated in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday following an 8-2 defeat to Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich.

Barca have already decided Setien – who replaced Ernesto Valverde in January – will not continue in 2020-21, and former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has already been linked, while club great Xavi and Massimiliano Allegri are other possible options.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Star reports Manchester United are eyeing Atletico Madrid star Saul Niguez. United have been linked to the Spain international previously and are believed to be ready to revive their interest.

- Staying at Old Trafford and the Evening Standard says United remain in talks with Borussia Dortmund regarding Jadon Sancho. Dortmund insist Sancho will not leave the Bundesliga side, though United are reportedly still in negotiations for the England international. Meanwhile, Outlet Republika in Serbia claims United have agreed to sign teenage sensation Filip Stevanovic from Partizan Belgrade before loaning him back to the capital club.

- Hella Verona defender Marash Kumbulla wants to join Inter, Sky Sport Italia claims. Kumbulla has been linked to Napoli, Lazio and Juventus.

Bayern Munich want to keep loanee Ivan Perisic, according to Sky Sport Italia. Perisic has spent the season on loan from Inter and Bayern are hoping to negotiate a permanent deal.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic wants to remain at Milan and could soon sign a new contract with the Rossoneri, reports Calciomercato.

- Foot Mercato claims Barca could consider re-signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern. Thiago, who left Barca in 2013, has been tipped to join Liverpool, while Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City have emerged as possible destinations.

Arsenal are planning to sign Thomas Partey from Atletico following the arrival of William, reports The Daily Star.

Lyon will take inspiration from Paris Saint-Germain's Champions League heroics when they seek to book their own semi-final spot at the expense of Manchester City.

Rudi Garcia cited PSG's stunning last-gasp revival against Atalanta as a source of motivation for his side, who face City in Lisbon on Saturday.

PSG scored twice in stoppage time to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, while RB Leipzig reached the last four for the first time with a late 2-1 triumph over seasoned campaigners Atletico Madrid.

Both of those results – as well as Lyon's last-16 success over Juventus – gave Garcia cause for optimism as he looked ahead to taking on Pep Guardiola's City, themselves eyeing a maiden Champions League title.

"It would be historic to have two French clubs in the semi-finals, we must be inspired by what PSG did," said Garcia.

"Having eliminated Juventus, that must give us confidence.

"We want to stay a long time in Lisbon, even if City are the big favourites of this confrontation.

"But the start of the quarter-finals showed that favourite teams can be roughed up."

Garcia is ready for the fact City are likely to have more of the ball, but the Frenchman is backing his side to stand up to the challenge.

"We know very well that we will not win the battle of possession against this team, because it is part of its identity," said the former Roma coach.

"But we must not let this team and its individualities pose problems for us. But it's not the system that matters, it's what you put in it, the animation.

"You also have to be able to press high and play with our strengths."

The two teams met in the group stage of the 2018-19 Champions League, with Lyon earning a 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium following a 2-2 draw on home soil.

Pep Guardiola looks set to have to contend without Sergio Aguero as the Manchester City boss warned there will be no margin for error in Saturday's Champions League showdown with Lyon.

The tournament's revised format means the two clubs will meet in a straight knockout game in Lisbon, having each come through tough two-legged ties to reach the quarter-finals.

While City ousted Real Madrid, Lyon got the better of Juventus, a result which in itself put Guardiola – who all but ruled Aguero out – on high alert.

On the subject of his talismanic striker, who had knee surgery in June, the City boss said: "He is still in Barcelona making a recovery."

Speaking about the threat of this weekend's Ligue 1 opponents, Guardiola said: "We saw the games against Juventus, some other games in the French league.

"They are organised, aggressive, so fast. People up front, wing-backs, the quality in the team is something else.

"This is a quarter-final. It won't be easy.

"The pressure is always there, we try to do our best like the other teams. We saw how tight it was in the last two [Champions League knockout] games, tomorrow will be no exception.

"It's a final so it's one game. We'll try to avoid mistakes so they can't punish us."

Guardiola felt the exceptional circumstances imposed by coronavirus have brought the best of out his players and he has even managed to enjoy some wining and dining in Portugal.

He said: "I am proud of how they have been these two or three weeks. Since lockdown they have been incredibly focused.

"We ate good, we drink good wine here in Portugal and now is the time to show ourselves.

"I want to see my team be who they are, do everything they do in their soul, their minds and after that the football will dictate if we deserve it."

A European triumph would represent a fine way for David Silva to conclude his long and illustrious City career, and Guardiola revealed the midfield maestro is primed and ready.

"Absolutely he is ready," Guardiola said. "The way he has trained and the mentality, I am really impressed.

"We all know it was a pity his last game in the Etihad was without the people. But he will be back when the people can come back and he will get what he deserves."

Kyle Walker says winning the Champions League is imperative for putting Manchester City onto the "next pedestal".

A 2-1 win at home to Real Madrid last week saw City reach the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition courtesy of a 4-2 aggregate triumph in their delayed last-16 tie.

Domestically, it has been a trophy-laded decade for City, who have won the Premier League four times, the FA Cup twice and the EFL Cup on five occasions since 2011.

The Champions League has proven an elusive trophy, though, with a run to the semi-finals in the 2015-2016 season the furthest they have managed.

England full-back Walker, who joined from Tottenham ahead of the 2017-18 campaign, concedes his own ambitions have changed and feels winning the Champions League will put City on another level.

"I think if you had asked me this two years ago when I signed here, I would have probably said that the Premier League was the big one for me having not won it before," he said.

"Now I have collected two of them and a number of others and this is the one that I want, and I can probably speak on behalf of the whole squad and Manchester City as well for what they need as a club to put them onto that next pedestal."

City's last-eight date with Lyon is being played in Lisbon as a straight-knockout game with UEFA altering the competition's format due to the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Walker acknowledges the different circumstances but insists City will not waver from their approach.

"It is a unique situation that we are in but I feel like we just have to attack it as we attack every game, whether that is in the Premier League, cups or Champions League," he added.

"We feel that our team as a whole and the way that we play and our philosophy is going to stand us in good stead to get us to where we want to be in the tournament, which is the final."

City's defeat of LaLiga champions Madrid means they start as favourites but Lyon took four points off Pep Guardiola's side in last season's Champions League and defeated Serie A winners Juventus to get to this stage.

Walker says such facts prove Lyon are not a team to take lightly.

"I think [that] speaks volumes. This year they don't have the players that they had when we played against them but you need to be a very good team, very disciplined, to beat Juventus over two legs," he said.

"We are just going to use the gameplan, listen to the tactics from the boss and hopefully that will see us over the line.

"I feel it can swing our way in that it is over just the one leg and we can really attack the game and play every game like a final."

So, the Jadon Sancho saga rambles on.

Manchester United want to sign Sancho, but Borussia Dortmund are adamant the 20-year-old will be staying put in 2020-21.

Could Barcelona and Real Madrid enter the mix?

 

TOP STORY – UNITED BRACED FOR SANCHO BATTLE

Manchester United believe Barcelona and Real Madrid will enter the race to sign Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho, according to The Mirror.

United have identified Sancho as their number one transfer target, however, Dortmund continually insist the England international will not leave the Bundesliga team.

If United fail to land Sancho this off-season, the Red Devils are bracing for a three-way battle with LaLiga giants Barca and Madrid next year.

ROUND-UP

- Cristiano Ronaldo to Barcelona? The Juventus superstar's entourage told AS he is happy in Italy, despite claims the former Madrid forward has been offered to the LaLiga outfit as the Scudetto holders look to free up cash.

- Journalist Fabrizio Romano claims Premier League champions Liverpool are in contact with Bundesliga holders Bayern Munich regarding Thiago Alcantara. The Spanish star has also emerged as a possible target for Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Tuttosport says Paulo Dybala could be offered to United in exchange for Paul Pogba. Dybala has been linked with Juve exits as the Serie A champions look to slash their wage bill. Dybala could be the player sacrificed in a bid to lure Pogba back to Turin, while Madrid and PSG are believed to be interested in the Argentina international.

- Barcelona star Luis Suarez is wanted by Qatari outfit Al-Arabi, says beIN SPORTS. Suarez is contracted to the LaLiga giants until 2021 as Barca eye Inter forward Lautaro Martinez as his long-term replacement.

Juve are eyeing a move for Atalanta forward Duvan Zapata, reports Calciomercato. Zapata starred as Atalanta finished third in Serie A and reached the Champions League quarter-finals. Juve – now led by Andrea Pirlo – have also been linked with Napoli's Arkadiusz Milik and Roma veteran Edin Dzeko.

- The Sun claims City are considering a £40million bid for Tottenham midfielder Harry Winks.

United are challenging rivals Chelsea for Leicester City full-back Ben Chilwell, who is valued at £80m, according to The Mirror.

Napoli are eyeing a double Roma raid, with Gazzetta dello Sport saying Cengiz Under and Jordan Veretout are on the list. With Jose Callejon and Allan set to leave, Napoli want to sign Roma's Under and Veretout.

Liverpool look set to have some major competition in their bid to sign Thiago Alcantara.

Out of contract at Bayern Munich next year, Thiago has been heavily linked with a move to the Premier League champions.

However, two big-spending European giants are reportedly joining the race for the midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY, PSG EYE LIVERPOOL TARGET THIAGO

Manchester City and PSG are interested in reported Liverpool target Thiago, according to Le 10 Sport.

Sport Bild says Liverpool are prepared to pay £27.1million (€30m) for the midfielder, an offer which could be enough for Bayern.

However, it also reports the champions are worried a club like City may trump their bid.

ROUND-UP

- While it looks like Jadon Sancho may remain at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United are not giving up on the star attacker. The Mirror reports the Premier League club have put other moves on hold as they chase Sancho.

- Staying at Old Trafford and Paul Pogba's future is yet to be sorted. Sky Sports reports the midfielder, who is contracted until 2021 with the club holding an option to extend it for a further year, is expecting talks over a new deal after United's Europa League campaign ends.

- After crashing out of the Champions League in the last 16, Real Madrid have been expected to strengthen. However, Marca reports Madrid have told players there will be no new signings.

- With Ismaila Sarr linked to Liverpool, Watford are seemingly holding firm. The Evening Standard reports Watford are demanding £40m for Sarr, who has also been linked to Wolves and Crystal Palace.

- Arsenal and Roma could be close to a swap deal. Nicolo Schira reports the clubs are in advanced talks about a deal that would send Lucas Torreira to the Serie A club and Amadou Diawara to Arsenal.

Bruno Genesio believes Lyon can knock Manchester City out of the Champions League if they use the win during his tenure as inspiration.

In last season's competition, Lyon stunned City with a 2-1 success at the Etihad Stadium in the opening round of the group stage before later earning a 2-2 draw at home.

Now, under Rudi Garcia, the Ligue 1 side face Pep Guardiola's men again in the quarter-finals in Lisbon.

Genesio was reluctant to take credit for the previous triumph and insisted it could be repeated, pointing to a number of players who remain from that match.

"They have to use that success at Manchester City because a lot of them were in this game," the Beijing Guoan coach told L'Equipe.

"Maxwell Cornet, Memphis Depay, Houssem Aouar, Anthony Lopes, Marcelo, Jason Denayer...they did it.

"In this context, only one match and behind closed doors, the weaker team has an advantage. They must believe in it.

"But you must not be afraid to take risks, otherwise you are dead because you have to get out of their pressing.

"That victory was not mine. It was that of everyone, the staff, a president who was behind us and, obviously, the players first. It was a real collective happiness, joy because nobody imagined that possible.

"I was criticised at the time and it was a small collective revenge, yes. I used the criticisms to motivate my players. Rudi Garcia maybe did that also against Juventus [in the last 16], by the way.

"It proves that, in football, you have to believe that anything is possible."

The Champions League has reached the quarter-final stage, with all four ties to be played over one leg in Lisbon over the next four days.

Last-eight regulars Barcelona and Bayern Munich meet in arguably the pick of the fixtures, while much-fancied Manchester City take on Juventus' conquerors Lyon.

Elsewhere, quarter-final debutants Atalanta and RB Leipzig will be looking to pull off upsets against Paris Saint-Germain and Atletico Madrid respectively.

Ahead of the mouthwatering ties, we take a look at the key Opta statistics.

Two hurdles from the final. Who makes it?

YOU decide! Sim your own Final 8 now #UCLFinalsBracket | @gazpromfootball

— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 10, 2020 ATALANTA V PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

0 - PSG have never won a game against Italian opposition in the Champions League, failing to keep a clean sheet in any of their previous six encounters.

1 - Atalanta are the first Champions League debutants to reach the quarter-finals since Leicester City in 2016-2017 and the first Italian side to do so since 1999-2000.

4 - The Serie A outfit have won their last four matches in the competition - the longest current run alongside fellow quarter-finalists Bayern Munich.

16 - No team still left in the tournament has conceded more goals than the 16 Atalanta have let in across their eight games.

32 - PSG have scored in each of their last 32 Champions League games in a run stretching back to the 2015-16 quarter-finals when firing a blank against Manchester City. 

#WeAreParis@ChampionsLeague is back pic.twitter.com/ayaJPEqON7

— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) August 10, 2020 RB LEIPZIG V ATLETICO MADRID

1 - Not only will this be the first competitive encounter between the sides, it is also the first time Leipzig have been drawn against a Spanish club in European competition.

5 - Atletico are contesting their fifth quarter-final in the last seven years - only Barcelona and Bayern Munich can better that tally across the same timeframe.

0 - None of Leipzig's 14 previous Champions League games have ended goalless.

4 - Four of the German side's last eight goals in the competition have come from the penalty spot. Indeed, only Atalanta (5) have benefited from more penalties this season.

12 - Since the start of 2019, 12 of the 14 goals Atletico have scored in UEFA's showpiece competition have been scored after half-time.

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????́???? ?? ?????? at Anfield

#AúpaAtleti pic.twitter.com/4T7cyQxGxU

— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) August 9, 2020 BARCELONA V BAYERN MUNICH

18 - Both sides are through to the last eight of the Champions League for an 18th time, with Barcelona into a record 13th successive quarter-final.

5 - The Catalan giants have been beaten in five of their eight previous encounters with Bayern in the competition, which is more than they have lost against any other side. 

17 - Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski has been directly involved in 17 Champions League goals in 2019-20 - six more than any other player.

8 - Hansi Flick's side have won their opening eight matches in the competition this term, with Barcelona the only side to have previously won nine on the spin.

2 - Barca have lost just two of their last 31 Champions League games and are unbeaten this season - Bayern and Man City being the only other unbeaten sides.

WorldLionDay pic.twitter.com/qFEph43I3v

— Memphis Depay (@Memphis) August 10, 2020 MANCHESTER CITY V LYON

1 - City have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League for a fourth time in five seasons, but have only progressed from one of their previous three appearances.

4 - Lyon are unbeaten in their last four games against English opposition in this competition - a run that includes a win and a draw against City in last season's group stage.

2 - Pep Guardiola progressed from his first seven Champions League quarter-finals but has been eliminated in his two appearances at this stage with City.

3 - Gabriel Jesus could become the third player to score in three separate knockout games for City in a single season after Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, both in 2018-19.

6 - Lyon attacker Memphis Depay has scored in six successive Champions League matches. Ruud van Nistelrooy is the only Dutch player to go on a longer run (nine with Manchester United in 2002-03).

Kai Havertz is reportedly still pushing for a move to Chelsea, while Manchester United are considering their options.

Havertz has been heavily linked with a move to Chelsea after an impressive season with Bayer Leverkusen.

The attacker may be getting closer to a switch to Stamford Bridge.

 

TOP STORY – HAVERTZ STILL PUSHING FOR CHELSEA MOVE

Havertz is still pushing for a move to Chelsea from Leverkusen, according to Fabrizio Romano.

The Germany international would join Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech in heading to Chelsea ahead of 2020-21.

Havertz scored 18 goals and provided nine assists in 45 games for Leverkusen this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Jadon Sancho potentially staying at Borussia Dortmund, Manchester United could look elsewhere. Sport reports United are insisting on Barcelona's teenage forward Ansu Fati and are willing to pay more than £90million (€100m). Meanwhile, ESPN reports United are looking at another Barcelona attacker in Ousmane Dembele.

- Real Madrid are considering their options ahead of next season. AS reports the LaLiga champions will bring back Martin Odegaard, who has been on loan at Real Sociedad, and Dani Ceballos, the latter having spent time on loan at Arsenal.

- Chelsea are linked with numerous moves ahead of 2020-21. However, The Guardian reports they are yet to make a bid for West Ham star Declan Rice.

- After a fine career at Manchester City, David Silva is leaving the Premier League giants. The Guardian reports Silva, 34, will join Lazio on a three-year deal.

- Quincy Promes has caught the eye at Ajax. The Sun reports Arsenal are eyeing a £25m (€27.8m) move for the forward, who netted 16 times in 28 games in 2019-20.

- Mario Gotze is set to have plenty of interest after leaving Borussia Dortmund. However, Sport Bild reports the 28-year-old has rejected a move to MLS side Inter Miami.

New Manchester City signing Ferran Torres was inspired by David Silva when he started out at Valencia.

Torres last week moved to City for an initial £21.1million, arriving as a replacement for Leroy Sane following his move to Bayern Munich.

The Spain Under-21 winger joined Los Che as a seven-year-old, when Silva was part of a strong Valencia side regularly featuring in European competition.

Silva left Mestalla for City in 2010 but had already made a mark on Torres.

"When I started at Valencia, he was enjoying his best time at the club," Torres told CityTV of Silva, City's outgoing captain.

"He was always an inspiration and then, when he moved to City, where he's been playing his best football, I've always admired him.

"Above all, [what I liked was] his ability to hold the ball, his capacity to make the final pass and his quality."

Asked what motivated him to join City, Torres highlighted the importance of manager Pep Guardiola in his decision.

He said: "Being part of the project the club set out to me. My aim is to grow as a player. I have a lot of room for improvement and the fact of having Pep Guardiola as a manager was a big factor too.

"It was crucial because he's one of the best, or I'd say the best manager in the world, and at the point I am at now in my career, he can get the best out of me.

"I'm always trying to improve. I always like to ask the reason why we do things and I think this is fundamental for improving and also because I think I'm young and I still have lots of things to improve."

Torres is confident he can quickly adapt to the Premier League after firmly establishing himself in the first team at Valencia in 2019-20.

"The truth is that English football is a bit more physical than it is in Spain, but I really feel I'm ready and I'm looking forward to getting going as soon as possible," he said.

"I'd say that I have more strength than speed. I also make good crosses, but above all I'd highlight my power and strength."

Leeds United have confirmed the signing of Manchester City winger Jack Harrison on loan for a third successive season.

Harrison has spent the past two campaigns at Leeds, becoming a first-team regular under Marcelo Bielsa.

The 23-year-old made 46 appearances as Leeds won the Championship and sealed promotion to the Premier League last term, scoring six times and providing eight assists.

Leeds also confirmed the loan transfer is with a view to a permanent deal.

Harrison becomes Leeds' third addition of the transfer window, with Helder Costa and goalkeeper Illan Meslier having made their stays permanent following impressive loan spells from Wolves and Lorient respectively in 2019-20.

Could Paulo Dybala swap Italy for Spain?

The Juventus attacker was close to leaving Juventus for either Manchester United or Tottenham prior to the 2019-20 season, while Paris Saint-Germain were also linked.

Now, Real Madrid are reportedly targeting the 26-year-old.

 

TOP STORY – KROOS OUT, DYBALA IN?

Real Madrid are set to offer Toni Kroos or Isco as part of a deal to bring Juventus star Paulo Dybala to the Santiago Bernabeu, according to SportMediaset.

LaLiga champions Madrid are eyeing a move for Dybala, who has been in negotiations with Serie A titleholders Juve over a new contract amid reported interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

However, Juve are unwilling to part with the Argentina international – who enjoyed a fine Serie A campaign prior to Maurizio Sarri's sacking as he looks ahead to life under Andrea Pirlo.

ROUND-UP

- Kicker claims Jadon Sancho has told Borussia Dortmund he is happy to stay at the club if a blockbuster transfer to Manchester United fails to materialise. The England international has been heavily tipped to join United, with personal terms reportedly agreed.

Barcelona want to sign Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, reports The Telegraph. The LaLiga giants are eyeing a cash-plus-player deal to try to prise the Portugal international to Camp Nou.

- Premier League champions Liverpool are poised to sign Olympiacos left-back Kostas Tsimikas, according to widespread reports. Having failed to strike a deal with Norwich City for Jamal Lewis, Liverpool are close to prising Tsimikas from the Greek powerhouse. Meanwhile, The Sun says Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool are targeting a shock £35million swoop for Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks.

- The front page of Monday's edition of Marca says Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane must sell before he is able to sign players ahead of the 2020-21 season. Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez are two players unwanted in the Spanish capital as Madrid continue to be linked with the likes of PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe, Dortmund's Erling Haaland and Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga.

- AS Diario reports Villarreal are on the verge of signing Valencia pair Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin. Valencia captain Parejo and team-mate Coquelin have been told they are free to leave Mestalla.

Napoli have joined the race to sign Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilon claims Sky Sport Italia. On loan at Sevilla, Reguilon has been linked to Chelsea and Everton.

- According to Calciomercato, Inter are interested in Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele. However, salary demands may prove problematic amid talk of a swap deal involving Inter defender Milan Skriniar.

Pep Guardiola believes Manchester City must win the Champions League to be considered one of the competition's great clubs.

The City manager also vowed it should not be considered "a disaster" if his team miss out on European success during his tenure, yet he can now sniff glory after the last-16 victory over mighty Real Madrid.

With LaLiga's champions ousted, and Serie A winners Juventus also eliminated, every team through to the quarter-finals will sense a genuine opportunity.

Lyon, the team that edged past Juve on away goals, are next in City's crosshairs, with their meeting scheduled for next Saturday in Lisbon.

Guardiola says he "would love" to bring Champions League glory to City, having missed out with Bayern Munich after achieving 2009 and 2011 successes while in charge at Barcelona.

He recognises that although City are becoming part of the competition's establishment, there is still a next step they have to take.

"You have to lift it, this title, to be 'okay, we've got it'," Guardiola said.

"We beat Real Madrid, of course for us it's so important. We know the credit, the value, the prestige that Real has.

"They are a massive club. To compete with them, beat them twice, for this season and for the future it will be so good."

Guardiola agreed when it was suggested the rest of the tournament could feel like a World Cup, saying it would feel "quite similar".

The last eight teams standing will head to Lisbon for one-off games in each remaining round rather than two-legged quarter-finals and semi-finals.

"Now every game is a final. You are in, or you are out. We will see a final against Lyon," he said.

But Guardiola's overriding message, as he spoke shortly after his side saw off Madrid, was that Champions League success can rest on fine margins, pointing to the errors from the usually unflappable Raphael Varane that helped City fend off Zinedine Zidane's side.

Whether City experience Champions League success during his reign or not, Guardiola does not see it defining his stay in Manchester.

"I live in Manchester, and an incredible club will be my memories. This is my happiness. Of course, we are going to try. But this competition is so difficult," he said

"But I don't want to live right now being here [saying] if we don't win the Champions League it will be a disaster.

"I know what I live is great. I've met incredible people. This is my life. And is it going to change my relations because I lift a title? Honestly, no.

"In Munich, we won a lot of titles but we didn't win the Champions League. Am I going to tell you I was unhappy in Munich? No. That I don't have friends in Munich? I have many.

"We're going to put in everything. But sometimes the opponents are better. Or you get wrong decisions of the strikers, or mistakes by the defenders. It's part of the life, it's part of the process, part of football. It's little details, margins, it happens."

With the Champions League back on, I went in search of predictions about who fans in Jamaica thought would win.

What I found was there aren’t really fans. Well, I didn’t find what I expect from a fan.

The term fan is an offshoot of the word fanatic. A fanatic is someone who shows so much loyalty to something that they, not only, have strong emotion about it, but are knowledgeable by virtue of spending so much time dedicated to understanding it.

In seeking answers to my questions predicting the winner of the Champions League, I found humiliating explanations, shallow reasoning and anything but persuasive arguments for one team or another.

Come to think of it, maybe they used a little strategy. There were two matches being played at the same time in the UEFA Champions League— Manchester City vs. Real Madrid and Juventus vs. Lyon. Fans were aware and had to develop a strategy to watch them both. But that's just about it.

When I asked my ‘fair-weather friends’ who they think would win the Champions League and why, their responses were uninspiring.

They usually started confidently enough, but that was where the solidity ended.

“BARCELONA!”, “MAN-CITY!”, “CHELSEA!”, “REAL MADRID!” etc, came the answers even before the questions were completely out of my mouth.

The problem they all encountered though, was the question of … why?

Suddenly the confidence of the answers were replaced with almost incoherent, largely uninformed drivle.

“Definitely you know it’s Barcelona. And I know other persons are going to say otherwise but this is the reason why: Barcelona is a champion...beyond champion, beyond champion, beyond champion, beyond champion…”

Another picked Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) as his winner.

“Neymar is a star baller,” was his ‘very solid’ reason.

I wanted a response from a seasoned fan. I figured it would have some substance but a seasoned fan is not common place.

“Man City definitely! I think they have the best ballers,” is the closest I could come to something resembling a thought-out explanation.

That being the best of the answers left me, an admitted novice, dejected.

Look, I’m not expecting fans to necessarily be able to provide reasons with the analysis of seasoned commentators like Lance Whittaker, but I would expect that a ‘fan’, has more to offer in the way of some understanding about the game.

The Champions League is now down to eight teams, who will play straight knock-out games in Lisbon, Portugal beginning October 12.

The teams in the quarterfinal are; Atalanta, Paris Saint-Germain, RB Leipzig, Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, and Lyon.

Who do you think will come out tops?

Please share your thoughts on Twitter (@SportsMax_Carib) or in the comments section on Facebook (@SportsMax). Don’t forget to use #IAmNotAFan. Until next time!

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