Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho gave an interview to the Brazilian press after the 2-0 win against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium this Sunday.
Speaking to ESPN Brasil, the 33-year-old has talked a lot about the club’s work for the team to stay at the same level as they finished the last season, even though some of the players have just returned from their vacations.
“We’ve been training for only two weeks, most of the players were in the World Cup,” Fernandinho told ESPN Brasil. “Little recovery time, vacations. But the important thing is that we tried to keep our level of play that we ended last season, both last Sunday and also today, against two great teams.”
“And I think we did it. It was a difficult game, complicated, in the end we dropped down a little there maybe because of the physical condition. But the important thing is that we got a very good win today, against an opponent who will fight for the top positions on the table.”
Asked if Pep Guardiola is demanding a lot from the team to get back in shape, he said: “Oh yeah, the demand is very big. It starts with him, then it’s with us players ourselves. We have great players. Some even started on the bench today. I think this is super important to keep the team level high, each one seeking his place, fighting for his place, and who has to win with that is only the team.”
Fernandinho was the target for some heavy criticism when Brazil went out of the World Cup, especially for scoring an own goal against Belgium. He hadn’t spoken to the Brazilian press since then, and showed to be still upset with the whole situation.
However, reporter João Castelo Branco recalled that he’s still much appreciates in England, where he’s the captain of Pep Guardiola’s team, and the player had to agree with it.
“I’m happy, I have respect from the manager, from my teammates, from the fans as well. It’s a place that has welcomed me very well since I got here, so what I have to do is try to reciprocate on the pitch in the best way. And thank God it’s been working.”