Sergio Aguero sees Tottenham as dark horses to win the Champions League and named three other contenders to lift the trophy for the best club in Europe.
The 2022-23 Champions League begins on Tuesday evening, with defending champions Real Madrid and 2021 winners Chelsea both in action.
Last season’s runners-up Liverpool – who won the Champions League in 2020 – kick off their campaign against Napoli on Wednesday.
Tottenham, who reached the final two years ago, mark their return to the Champions League against Marseille and will be keen to qualify for the knockout stages with Sporting Lisbon and Eintracht Frankfurt also in Group D.
“With Mauricio Pochettino, Tottenham have already had a great performance in the Champions League,” former Manchester City and Barcelona striker Aguero told Stake.
“Now with Antonio Conte, a coach with a lot of experience, they manage to be a very solid team. He knows how he wants to play and his counter-attack can be deadly.
“He added to Kane and Son with Richarlison and two wingers who are very good assists like Kulusevski and Perisic.
“Tottenham will be a very tough rival for any team. They could be a big threat in Europe this year.
Despite dominating in England, Manchester City are still in search of their first Champions League triumph and Aguero believes the summer signing of Erling Haaland could prove crucial to his former club’s European aspirations.
Haaland had a sensational start to his Man City career, scoring ten goals in six Premier League games, including consecutive hat-tricks.
“He’s been consistent for every team he’s played for,” Aguero said. “He has a very high goals-per-game average and he is proving that now at City as well.
“It makes me very happy that he converts because he provides what the team needs, which is the goals.
“And if that happens, City will have a better chance of going as far as possible.” He could finally help them break their Champions League hoodoo.
Aguero also sees French champions Paris Saint-Germain and Spanish giants Barcelona as Champions League contenders.
Like Manchester City, PSG have also failed in the Champions League in recent years, although they appear to be on the right track under new manager Christophe Galtier.
‘Team Leo [Messi] is sure will always be a candidate,” Aguero added. “He looks like he’s back to his best and Leo has that winning mentality he needs in any team with an aspiration to achieve anything.”
“We know his competitive spirit. And even more if he is with great players like Mbappe and Neymar. And PSG have already gained a lot of experience in Europe.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are continuing their rebuilding under Xavi and qualified for the Champions League after finishing second in La Liga last season.
“Barcelona are a great team in Europe,” Aguero said. “He has the weight of his history and now he has also managed to recompose himself with a great team and a technical director.
“With this, you can compete on equal footing with anyone. Barca will advance to the next round. It won’t be easy but they will get there.
“From what we’ve seen so far, Xavi has done very well to bring the group together and is playing attacking football, due to the many options he now has in attack, which is giving him results.”
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Sergio Aguero names dark horses to win Champions League and three more contenders