Javi Garcia eyes Man City-Benfica final

Javi Garcia is dreaming of a Champions League final between Manchester City and his former club Benfica and believes Manuel Pellegrini’s team are capable of reaching the showpiece occasion.

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The midfielder joined City from the Portuguese club for 15.8 million pounds in the summer of 2012 and hopes to return to the Estadio da Luz, which will host the 2014 Champions League final, in May.

City have been knocked out in the group phase in the past two years but Garcia feels that once they reach the knockout stages, anything can happen.

“The first target is to go through the group stage," he told the club’s official website. "We must learn from last season. We have to play the last 16 no matter what and grow from there. We know we will have to face the best teams but we want to go step by step in the knockout stages and reach the semifinals and hopefully the final.

“I think that's what this team can achieve. My dream final would be Benfica versus Manchester City plus it is great because the final is at Benfica's stadium in Lisbon. That would be a beautiful final.”

City began their Champions League campaign with a 3-0 win away against Viktoria Plzen before Bayern Munich beat them 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium.

Their next two matches are against CSKA Moscow and Garcia thinks they have to make amends for past failures in Europe.

He added: “For every team, the most important competition is the domestic league but we are all very focused on having a great season in the Champions League. Last year, we didn't do well. We all have that thorn in our side.”