Jesus Navas believes his time in England with Manchester City has made him a better player as he looks to advance to the group stages of the Champions League with Sevilla.
The World Cup winner, 31, made 123 appearances in four seasons at the Etihad Stadium – winning the Premier League and two League Cups – and returns to his hometown club after being released by the Premier League outfit in May.
The winger will wear the no.16 shirt for on his return to Sevilla, which holds particular sentiment at the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán as it was the number of Antonio Puerta, the defender who collapsed on the pitch and subsequently died while playing for the club in 2007.
Navas and Puerta had simultaneously climbed the ranks at the club, and Navas bore Puerta’s coffin after his tragic death.
“It will be an extra incentive for me,” Navas said of the number to EstadioDeportivo.com “It represents immense values.
“I’ve got experience from the Premier League where the game is faster, with more rhythm,” he told sevillafc.es. “I’ll bring that experience to the team.
“Personally, things went well for me in Manchester, I had a good relationship with everyone there and I’d like to thank everyone involved at the club.”
Navas joined Manchester City from Sevilla in 2013, but under Pep Guardiola he saw himself in and out of the team. Even though he made 36 appearances for the club last season, this was the lowest tally since his arrival at Manchester City.