Pep Guardiola has admitted Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus could wreck Manchester City's hopes of a Champions League triumph this season.
On the same night City booked their passage into the quarter-finals of the competition with a resounding 7-0 victory over Schalke, Ronaldo's hat-trick for the Bianconeri inspired a famous comeback against Atletico Madrid.
Despite holders Real Madrid being knocked out by Ajax last week, Guardiola insisted that competition for the trophy remained fierce, and highlighted Ronaldo's growing influence on Juventus as a key obstacle.
He said (as quoted by the Evening Standard): "We (Barca) won two, but I lost seven. So I am not Real Madrid. Madrid is out, but there’s still Juventus.
“These guys take Cristiano Ronaldo - they go there to win the Champions League with Juventus.
"He has all the pressure on his shoulders, he scores three versus Atletico Madrid and they go through. That is the type of guy you face to achieve the next stages.
“We are going to try. If it doesn’t work, I am sorry but I assure you next season we are going to try. This competition is tough.”
After City joined both Tottenham and Manchester United in advancing from the round of 16, there will be at least three Premier League teams involved in the quarter-finals draw, with Liverpool potentially also in the mix depending on their result against Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
3 – There will be at least three English teams in the quarter final stage of a single Champions League campaign for the first time since 2010-11. Resurgence. pic.twitter.com/q85clHAlrj— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) 12 March 2019
Guardiola added (as quoted by BBC Sport): "It is nice for English football that three teams are there in the quarter-finals and Liverpool too, maybe.
"In the last decade Spanish teams controlled everything. It is good for us. For English football it's incredible."