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"Anything Can Happen, It's Always Tough" - Oleksandr Zinchenko Delivers Honest Assessment on Man City's Champions League Falterings

Manchester City defender and left-sided midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko has compared the Premier League to the Champions League, explaining his side's setbacks in European football's elite club competition in recent years.

While Manchester City are yet to secure the final jewel in the crown of the club's modern era, the highly-coveted Champions League trophy, the club have greatly benefited from a decade of consecutive qualifications into the competition. 

Whether those benefits have been financial or simply the experience a club gains by playing against Europe's best sides year in, year out, the Etihad outfit can take massive pride in their sustained progression. 

Manchester City defender and left-sided midfielder Oleksandr Zinchenko, who played the full 90 minutes in his side's Champions League final loss to Chelsea last season, has attempted to explain how difficult it has been for the Sky Blues on the European front over the years.

“Anything can happen, it is the champions of all the European countries (competing against each other) and it is always tough," said the Ukraine international, in an interview for the February issue of Manchester City's monthly magazine.

"You need to be committed, you need to be fully focused, you need to work hard a lot and then maybe you can reach (the latter stages of the Champions League). But still, it is so, so difficult because a lot of teams are so good.”

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Zinchenko, who has won three Premier League titles during his time at the Etihad Stadium, believes that the Champions League is the pinnacle in club football despite his side's recent domination of arguably the most competitive league in the world.

“It (the Champions League) is the highest level in football," added the 25-year-old. "The Premier League is the strongest league in the world, but the Champions League is a special tournament.” 

Zinchenko and his Manchester City teammates have learned it the hard way that every opponent needs to be taken seriously in the Champions League, after multiple exits at the hands of supposed 'inferior' opposition. 

As for the current campaign, Pep Guardiola's side will see their recent draw against Portuguese champions Sporting CP as favorable, but not a guaranteed victory. One thing is for sure - Zinchenko and his comrades will not be taking any game lightly after their past experiences in the competition.  

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