Ilkay Gundogan wants Manchester City to use their experience of reaching the Champions League final for the first time to get there again next month.
Pep Guardiola’s first signing as Blues boss was the only member of the squad to play in the showpiece event before last season, reaching the final with Dortmund in 2013 when they lost to Bayern Munich at Wembley. The German midfielder has been heavily involved in big games over the last five years, with Guardiola admiring his cool head under pressure.
City showed improved composure last year to overcome their tendency to collapse in the knockout stages, clinically ousting Dortmund and PSG in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively to make the final. However, after a bizarre selection decision from Guardiola not to select a holding midfielder the team were beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in Porto.
City have progressed to the quarter-finals for a fifth consecutive year and play the first leg of their clash with Atletico this week at the Etihad, before travelling to Madrid next week for the return fixture. Gundogan thinks that the team should be able to draw on their experience last year to move closer to fulfilling their ambition of going one step further and winning the most prestigious prize in European club football.
“That is the objective of every professional footballer, I guess,” he said. “It is obviously ours as well.
“We have the experience of last season’s Champions League final that we unfortunately lost, we know how it feels to be there and we know that there is enough quality for us to try to get there again. We need to take that responsibility and try to make the best out of it.”