Manchester City will end the season disappointed if they fail to win the Champions League for the first time, according to former England captain Alan Shearer.
Pep Guardiola’s side bagged the League Cup on Sunday with a 3-0 thumping of Arsenal and will go 16 points clear in the Premier League with 10 games left if they beat them again in Thursday’s re-arranged league clash.
Barring a monumental collapse City will win at least two trophies this season, but Shearer believes European bragging rights are what the club’s Abu Dhabi owners crave most.
“No matter how many domestic trophies City win this season, they would probably be disappointed if they failed to win the Champions League too,” pundit Shearer told the BBC’s website.
“They want to win everything, but they want the Champions League most of all. It is the trophy that has eluded them in the 10 years since Sheikh Mansour bought the club in 2008 and, ultimately, winning it is what Guardiola was hired for.”
City won 4-0 away to Basle in the first leg of their last 16 clash making the Etihad return a formality.
“They have only got past the last 16 once before, when they reached the semifinals in 2016, but they are as good as in the quarterfinals this time,” he said.
“Again, it has been a case of so far, so good – but we will not truly know how good this City side is until they meet a team like Barcelona, Bayern Munich or whoever comes through the Real Madrid versus Paris St-Germain tie.
“Those big hitters will offer the real test.”
City need a maximum of six more Premier League wins to secure the title and emulate the team of Manuel Pellegrini who won the League Cup and Premier League double for the club in 2014.
But Shearer believes Guardiola’s side can go to another level and possibly win the treble.
“They would turn an excellent season into an unbelievable one if they were to win the Champions League as well,” Shearer said. “Only two English teams have ever done a Treble combining the European Cup or Champions League, the league title and a domestic cup in a single season – Liverpool in 1984 and Manchester United in 1999.
“That shows how just hard it is to do. As good as City have been, and as strong as their squad is, it will be a big ask for them to join that elite list.”