Benjamin Mendy, the Manchester City left back, cannot wait to visit India and hopes City fans across the country are having a great time now that the English Premier League has resumed. Calling India ‘beautiful,’ the Frenchman is hoping for an invitation so he gets to fulfil his wish of visiting the country.
“Firstly, I hope the lockdown was ok for everyone in India. I hope they enjoyed the football coming back, the games, the supporters a lot. When are the people going to invite me to India because it’s a beautiful country,” Mendy said to the broadcaster.
Mendy joined City from Ligue 1 team Monaco in July of 2017 for a reported fee of 52 million pounds on a five-year contract, but in September, the defender injured his knee during a match against Crystal Palace. As a result of a knee surgery, Mendy missed action for almost six months before returning as a substitute against Swansea City. In the 2018/19 season, Mendy played in 10 of the first 12 Premier League games for Manchester City, assisting five goals in the process.
Mendy weighed in on his manager Pep Guardiola and the way he helps bring out the best in each player. The City boss recently hailed Mendy’s ‘special quality’ in terms of energy. Despite making 47 appearances in all competitions across the previous three seasons, owing to a string of serious injuries, Guardiola has backed Mendy and the Frenchman is thankful for the confidence the City boss has showed in him.
“He’s so good. You want to give everything for him on the pitch, when he talks in the meetings, on the pitch, he gives, the way he talks he gives you the determination, the power to win the game, to fight for the goal. He loves football,” Mendy said on Guardiola.
“He’s more tactical. We do a lot in training; I learned a lot with him. before I was going attack-defence, attack defence, but now sometimes I stay inside. Before I was too crazy on the pitch. He showed me the way to attack better, for more energy, to be better when I defend against a player, the distance I need to add with the centre back and winger. Check the winger, check my back, stuff like that.
“He’s in the boxes every day, you know when you are near to David Silva, Kevin De Bruyne, Leroy Sane and those players, so technically they have the quality for that, at the top level, so to do this with them all the time, play in the short space is the best for me because technically I learn a lot from them.”
In February this year, City were banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined 30 million euros (£25 million) by UEFA after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. However, with the Premier League resuming in empty stadiums, City have the chance to make amends. On the experience of playing in empty stadiums, Mendy revealed that at first, City had to get itself mentally prepared for playing behind closed doors, but it was back to business once the team got used to it.
“To be honest, first in the head, it’s not like we are banned, we need to play like that,” he said. “We know it’s for the safety of the people. We are more focussed and we need to be focussed because the fans and your family are watching you back at home. As a professional this can happen, playing behind closed doors with no fans and nothing will change. If you win, three points, if you lose, zero, you need to fight for your team, your players. I think it is in the head.”
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