Former Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli feels that Man City and Real Madrid are the favourites for the Champions League, but Inter Milan aren’t far behind.

Barzagli spoke to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews, in an interview published in yesterday’s print edition, via FCInterNews.

Inter will be back in action in the Champions League in less than a week’s time.

The Nerazzurri begin their knockout campaign against Atletico Madrid. The round of sixteen tie will begin with a first leg at the San Siro next Tuesday.

Inter reached the final last season. They did so by knocking out the likes of Barcelona, Porto, Benfica, and AC Milan.

Then in the final, the Nerazzurri played out a fairly even match against English champions Manchester City.

That final ended up in heartbreak for Inter. The Premier League side prevailed by a single goal, courtesy of midfielder Rodri.

But in terms of the performance, it was a match that gave Inter plenty of confidence.

This season, the Nerazzurri finished second in their group, behind Real Sociedad. However, they did so going unbeaten, only losing out on the head-to-head goal difference compared to La Real.

Barzagli: Man City & Real Madrid Favourites In UCL – But Inter Not Far Behind

Of City and Real, Barzagli said that “They’re the two main favourites. At least on paper.”

“Firstly, Real Madrid. If just for the trophy cabinet, the history they have. They know how to win.”

“And then the other team, Manchester City. Fresh off winning it last season.”

“Even if it’s never easy to repeat a win in the Champions League. As it happens, only Real Madrid have ever done it.”

As far as Inter’s chances, Barzagli noted that “The Nerazzurri are in a great period.”

“They’re putting up great numbers in Italy. And they can take confidence from last season.”

“They’re coming up against an Atletico team that are a bit different than the one we’re used to,” Barzagli continued.

“They concede more goals, but they also try to play more attacking football.”

“Morata and Griezmann are a great attacking partnership. The possibility of Alvaro being out injured could have an impact.”

Barzagli then noted that “The Metropolitano will have a very hot atmosphere, But so will the San Siro.

He said that “For me, Inter are the favourites.”

The former Juventus defender then continued that “Last season, Inter didn’t have to face opposition who were top quality.”

“But then in the final, they faced an absolutely top side in City. And they caused problems for them.”

“At the moment Inzaghi has a squad full of players who are at the peak of their powers,” Barzagli said.

“The experience that they’ve had as a group in the Champions League is also important. If I don’t consider them among the favourites, it’s only because of the quality of the other two.”