With over 140 European appearances to his name, Frank Lampard knows a thing or two about Champions League football, and the Manchester City midfielder has backed his team to one day win the competition, reports the club's official site.
City meet Barcelona next week in the first leg of their round of 16 clash in a repeat of last year's draw.
2014 saw Barcelona come away as 4-1 aggregate winners, but Manuel Pellegrini and co will be desperate to do better at the second attempt.
Since billionaire Sheikh Mansour's 2008 takeover City have had their fair share of success, claiming two Premier League titles, an FA Cup and a League Cup.
However, they're yet to trouble the latter stages of the Champions League, a competition Lampard insists stands head and shoulders above anything else in club football.
The midfielder, who won the competition with Chelsea in 2012, told MCFC.co.uk: "For me the Champions League is the best club competition in world football."
Lampard has featured twice in the competition for City this season and will be desperate to add to that under the lights at the Etihad next week.
"Playing against a team like Barcelona and the greatest club teams in Europe when all the eyes of the world are on you is hard to beat," he said.
"The quality of the opposition, the midweek game under the lights and the atmosphere make these nights thesort of games every player wants to be involved in because you want to test yourself against the very best."
Champions of Europe
For the City hierarchy, going toe to toe with the very best is not enough as they look for the club to establish themselves as one of the top teams in the world.
In order to do so they need to be crowned champions of Europe, and Lampard can see it coming.
He said: "This is a trophy every big club needs in their collection and the way City are heading it is one that will happen at some point and these sorts of games are the ones you have to win if you are going to go on and win the competition."
During his time at Chelsea, Lampard suffered a number of near misses, losing the final on penalties in 2008 as well as being a beaten semi-finalist on five different occasions and he was more than happy to discuss his experiences, both good and bad.
"I’ve had lots of good and bad experiences in the Champions League in that I’ve been knocked out in big games and had big decisions go the wrong way," he said.
“There were many years when I was at Chelsea when success was very close – I think I’ve played in four or five semi-finals and also lost a final against Manchester United so to actually win it in 2012 was extra sweet and undoubtedly the best night of my career to date."
Now Lampard is a City player, he's hoping to achieve similar success in a different shade of blue, starting with victory over Barca.
He said: "I'd love to City do the same and I think it’s the club’s next step – there will be disappointments along the way and I know that there have been some hard times in this competition in recent years and Chelsea had many hard times as well – but that’s what happens when you are up against the best.
“It is difficult to win against these teams – but to go on and win it you have to win matches like this. We have to be on the ball for both games against Barcelona because you’re playing against such high quality that one lapse of concentration will cost you the game.”
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