Manchester City have struggled in the Champions League during the last two seasons, and the summer signing feels a win over the holders will force rivals to take notice
Fernandinho believes a victory over Champions League holders Bayern Munich would force rival clubs to take notice of Manchester City as a European force.
City have failed to progress from the group stage in both of their last two campaigns but the Brazilian is confident that beating Pep Guardiola’s side will make more of a statement than their derby triumph over Manchester United.
“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,” Fernandinho is quoted as saying by the Telegraph.
“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.
“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.”
Fernandinho believes that after a opening gameweek victory over Plzen, the English side are in great shape to reach the knockout stages.
“It’s always very difficult to play in the Champions League with a team like Shakhtar because many things happen on the way and you know it is harder to win with a smaller team.
“It is different with City, but the fact remains that in the Champions League you must win your home games. The sooner you get nine points under your belt, the easier things become for you. It lifts the pressure, so winning our home games is the most important thing and that is what we will try to do against Bayern.
“If you look at the overall picture at City, with the players, the club’s ambition and everything else attached to it, it would not be talking too much to say we could win it this season.”