‘Man City a better team than Real Madrid’ – Midfielder

MANCHESTER CITY midfielder Rodri has claimed that his club are the better team going into the last 16 second-leg Champions League encounter with Real Madrid, but will “have to prove it” to knock the record-title holders out.

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City take a 2-1 lead looking for nothing but a win at the Etihad Stadium on Friday night. “We are going to suffer in some moments, but we have the mentality to get through,” said Rodri. “We can win the Champions League – not only this match.”

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Manchester City will be looking for nothing but a win when they tackle Real Madrid in a last 16 second-leg Champions League match at the Etihad Stadium (Image: Sourced).

The 24-year-old Spain international, who joined City for a club-record £62M (R1.4 billion) from Atletico Madrid last summer, has impressed in his first season. In their respective recent domestic league runs, City finished second in the Premier League while Madrid cantered to a last-gasp win of the La Liga title after their neck and neck race with arch-rivals Barcelona.

City boss Pep Guardiola conceded it is “very difficult to analyse” his opposite number, Zinedine Zidane’s tactics. He said: “It’s difficult to know when you think you have one of his plans covered, he will hit you with another,” said Guardiola.

Rodri is confident that Man City has what it takes to finish his ...
Manchester City midfielder Rodri believes his side are ready to overcome Real Madrid (Image: Sourced).

“We’ve watched all their games since lockdown, spoken of how we think they’ll approach it. We’ve talked of how we can hurt them and that’s what we have focused on in the build-up to this game.” Real forward Eden Hazard is a doubt with an ankle injury, while Gareth Bale “decided not to play” but Rodri said City “will be ready” if the Belgium international plays.

“We are the team who want to play against best players,” added Rodri. “You don’t need me to tell you what a great player he is [Hazard] – one of the best in the world for many years, who can turn a game and influence a result. We are aware of the dangers he can bring.”