Manchester City captain Fernandinho says he has been waiting a long time to play in a Champions League final. Read more Man City News here.
The 36-year-old, who joined from Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk for his eighth season at the Etihad Stadium, has never advanced further than the competition’s semi-finals.
City, on the other hand, will play in their first-ever Champions League final in Porto. The seasoned Brazilian says they are up to the task.
“There was already the stigma that the team had never made it to the final before. We were an inexperienced team in this tournament, the club in particular. Historically speaking, I believe our team has managed to meet a high level this season,” the Brazilian said.
“It’s a special feeling for me. Having played in Europe for a long time, I’ve had the opportunity to play in several Champions League seasons. I had only made it as far as the semi-finals with Manchester City and the quarter-finals with Shakhtar. And I’d never made it to the final before, so it’s quite exciting.
It’s a very happy moment, a big honor. There’s no question that it motivates you even more. Like we always say, we’ve got to offer 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. I think anything less than 200 percent in a game like this won’t be enough to win it.”
Boss Pep Guardiola will have to pick between Fernandinho and Spanish teammate Rodri for the starting spot in the center of the midfield. Fernandinho started the second leg of the semi-final against Paris Saint-Germain and was instrumental in stopping the French side’s counterattacking threat.
With Angel Di Maria sent off, he was also critical in holding his teammates’ heads while PSG was losing theirs, and his experience may be crucial against Chelsea.
Of the PSG game, which was played on his birthday, he said, “It’s a matter of reading the game and knowing what’s going on in that moment. There’s no question that, as captain and the club’s most experienced player, steps up to try and organize stuff for the team’s benefit. It’s easy for a person to lose their cool when they’re under a lot of stress or pressure. I tried to keep players from falling into this pit to protect the team’s success. Having a player like this in a game at this stage makes a huge difference.”