Rio Ferdinand sends Real Madrid warning to Man City ahead of Champions League second leg
Real Madrid must avoid defeat away to Manchester City if they are to progress to another Champions League semi-final.
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Rio Ferdinand has warned Manchester City that Real Madrid ‘own’ the Champions League and will not have any fears about heading to the Etihad next week in need of a result.
A 1-1 draw in Tuesday’s semi-final first leg at the Bernabeu means Los Blancos must avoid defeat in Manchester next week if they hope to progress to the final this season and retain their European crown. However, City have a fantastic recent home record and have won all 14 since the World Cup at the Etihad.
Speaking after the first leg, Ferdinand claimed that stat won’t unnerve Real next week, with the ex-Manchester United defender claiming Carlo Ancelloti’s side have ‘killers’ who will ‘bounce’ into the Etihad.
“You have to respect Man City and say they’re the best footballing team around and they are going to have a lot of possession,” opined Ferdinand on BT Sport. “You are going to have moments. That’s what Ancelotti does, he’s so wily and he understands that you’re going to have to sit back and have the humility to respect the opponents.
“But you have to punchy when you get in, and they have killers in their team. Rodrygo, Vinicius Junior, [Karim] Benzema, those guys are waiting all game and purring. They are smelling that Toni Kroos or [Luka] Modric, [Eduardo] Camavinga, [Federico] Valverde, at some point they are going find them. These guys don’t need many opportunities, like today - clinical and score goals.
“I think the experience of this Real Madrid team, they will not be going there [to the Etihad] with an anxiety or nervous feeling at all,” he added. “They will be bouncing into that stadium with a swagger of saying ‘we can come here and win this game’.
“Real Madrid have as many Champions Leagues as all the English teams combined. They have no fear; they own this competition.”