Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho has urged his team-mates to beat Bayern Munich in midweek and make a massive statement that will force European giants to stand up and take notice.
The Citizens, who were knocked out in the group stages of the Champions League in the last two years, have been drawn in Group D of the competition this season, alongside holders Bayern, and the two sides meet at the Etihad on Wednesday.
City beat Czech Republic side Viktoria Plzen 3-0 away in their first group game last week and Fernandinho says it's high time the club produced a similar performance against a top European club, in order to establish themselves as a force in the continent.
"Last season, Bayern Munich were the team that played the best football and they became European champions, so if you beat them, people on the outside will notice. It would be a huge statement to the football world if we could beat the best team in Europe, one of the best teams in the world. The projection would be much higher than beating United. That is why a win for us would be so important," Fernandinho stressed.
"The United match was all about playing your local rival. It was a derby and you always want to beat your neighbours, so the atmosphere is different for the players, manager, directors, supporters - everybody. It is different from a normal game. You don't play against United and picture them as the champions, you just regard them as your local rivals. The game against Bayern Munich is different, they are the best around," the Brazilian added.
Fernandinho, who joined City for £30m from Ukrainian giants Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer, also said he is enjoying the central midfield partnership with Yaya Toure.
"I have enjoyed playing with Yaya and I hope our partnership will continue to improve. I like to get forward, but I also know my role for the team is very important. If we are playing against a strong attacking team, we need to give more protection to the back four and because Yaya goes forward quite often, I stay behind. We can change positions, though, there is no problem with that," the 28-year-old pointed out.
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