Carles Puyol has explained why he considers Manchester City to be 'one of the favourites' to win this season's Champions League trophy.
The Barcelona legend spoke to Sky Sports ahead of his former club's 4-1 aggregate triumph over Chelsea on Wednesday, and revealed that he is tipping City win UEFA's prestigious club tournament this season.
Puyol worked under current Citizens boss Pep Guardiola during his playing days at Nou Camp and, when asked what he had made of City's 2017/18 season, admitted that it wasn't out of the realms of possibility for Guardiola's men to win the club their maiden UEFA Champions League title.
He said: "I think Manchester City are having a great season. Pep has implanted his style, his way of playing, and it's nice to watch Manchester City play. They are winning a lot of games in a brilliant way.
"Can they win the Champions League? For me they are one of the favourites. We will see. In the Champions League, you pay for errors. They got a very good result in the first leg against Basel but there are still a lot of knockout rounds to go so we'll see.
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"Is it more difficult to win it with City than with Barca? I believe winning the Champions League with any team is very difficult."
In a lengthy interview that also saw Puyol reminisce about his experiences of playing Chelsea, the retired centre back also revealed his thoughts behind Eden Hazard.
The Blues star has been praised for his form this season despite his performances of late not being up to scratch, and that led to critics asking whether Hazard was a world class player in the Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo mould.
Puyol, however, stated his belief that the Belgian forward had some way to go before he could keep that kind of company and be dubbed an outstanding world talent.
Roy Keane with a valid critique of Eden Hazard: "On any given day he can be very, very good, but he has too many off days. Compare him to Messi and Ronaldo? He is way behind them."— Kevin Palmer (@RealKevinPalmer) March 14, 2018
He added: "I don't think he's at their level yet. We are talking about incredible players. It's not just one season, they have been at the maximum level for 10 years now.
"For me, Messi is the best player in the world and in history. It's impressive what he's doing every year at an exceptionally high level, breaking records, getting better and better in more aspects of his game.
"So to compare him with Messi or Ronaldo is difficult, but Eden Hazard is a fantastic player. He's a player who makes the difference and has plenty of time to grow."