Champions League trophy ‘the dream’ for Mendy at Man City

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Benjamin Mendy says winning the Champions League is the dream of everyone at Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola’s side claimed a 2-1 win against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in February to take control of their last-16 tie.

City have won eight of the past nine domestic trophies available, but they have failed to get beyond the semi-final stage in Europe’s top competition, and they have not progressed past the quarter-finals since Guardiola took charge four years ago.

Mendy says the squad are desperate to become champions of Europe but remains cautious ahead of the second leg with Madrid, with UEFA said to be hopeful of completing this season’s competition despite the coronavirus crisis.

“We had a good game in Madrid and now we still have to play the second leg,” the left-back told club media. “I know that, in the minds of every player, they know that just because we won there [it] does not mean that it is finished or that we are qualified.

“It is not every day that you go to somewhere like the Bernabeu and perform like that in the Champions League. We have an opportunity to go far in this cup and we want it, so everybody wakes up, works out, stays focused on the target for when they say we can come back.

“We don’t have the Champions League yet, so it is the dream.”

Mendy is more immediately concerned with the return of the Premier League, which was suspended in March but could resume after June 1.

“I can’t wait,” he said. “We are just waiting for the green light.

“Everywhere, we see we are going to start on this date and that date. Now, I wait for the guys to text us to tell us the league is going to start at this time, and we are going to be so happy.

“But I know they are going to take all the precautions when we are back. It’s not like they are just going to say ‘let’s go play’; they are going to check everything, and I think that’s why it takes time.”

Mendy has been spending time in lockdown not just trying to keep up his fitness, but also master some new skills, including cooking and painting.

“The quarantine has not been easy. It is very difficult for everyone,” he said. “I think to stay at home, not move, only go to the shop to buy food, that has been very difficult for everyone. Now it is getting better, but we need to be careful and to follow the rules.

“I tried to keep busy. First of all, I was just working out and training, but then I wanted to learn some new stuff as well, so I started painting and I like it now.

“Some of my family bought me some stuff to make cooking easier, it helps to learn, and it has been nice. I try to keep busy and do some new stuff. I hope everyone is good and all the families are safe. I know that this is a difficult moment, but it is going to be better.”