Champions League semis Toure's target

Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure believes his side can reach the Champions League semi-finals despite falling at the first hurdle last season.

The Premier League champions will be keen to make a bigger impact, having been eliminated at the group stage last term.

Speaking exclusively in the October 2012 edition of FourFourTwo, the 29-year old insisted he values the Champions League more highly than the domestic title.

"The Champions league is very important for the club this year. We’ve won the Premier League and know we have to do it again.

"But the Champions League has all the big European clubs and is the most important competition in the world, so it is a good test for us. We know it will be very hard but we’re confident we can go far.

"We have to aim to reach the quarter-finals or semi-finals this year, I think we can do that."

The Ivorian has taken heart from Chelsea's European triumph last May and believes with some good fortune there is no reason why the Etihad Stadium outfit cannot emulate their Premier League rivals by conquering Europe’s elite.

"[Chelsea’s victory] showed that at the very highest level, you still need a little bit of luck," Toure explained. "You don’t have to be as good as Barcelona or Madrid, but you have to get lucky.

"If the very best teams in the world shoot wide, or the goalkeeper makes a lot of saves, or the defenders are always in just the right place to block a shot, you can beat them without playing the sort of top football that they can."

The former Barcelona man also believes the experiences of last season – on both the domestic and European front – will help City improve on their previous showing.

"It is important that this isn’t our first season in the competition, but it’s more important that we have already won the Premier League. That will give us the confidence that we can do better."

Manchester City kick off their Champions League campaign away to Real Madrid on Tuesday evening.

Words: Simon Blaquiere. Interview: Rory Smith

Read the full interview with Yaya Toure in the October 2012 issue of FourFourTwo, which asks 'is it over?' for Barcelona's dream team following Pep Guardiola's departure, looks at Mafia involvement in Italian football and goes to Cardiff to find a furore over the change to red kits. Subscribe!