Manchester City defender Manuel Akanji has admitted first walking into a dressing room full of superstars was a ‘special’ experience for him when he first joined the club.

The centre-back has been speaking to Schweizer Illustrierte about his career so far and his time at Manchester City playing alongside big names such as Erling Haaland.

The Switzerland defender joined Manchester City in a surprise €20m move from Borussia Dortmund in September 2022 and has proven to be one their smarter signings since.

He’s quickly established himself as a key player under Pep Guardiola, making 77 appearances to date playing comfortably as a centre-back, left-back and occasionally even a midfielder.

It’s been something of a shock rise for the 28-year-old, who few would have predicted would develop into the player he has during his time at Manchester City after following him at Borussia Dortmund.

Playing with the world class players in the squad at the Etihad has certainly helped on that front and Akanji is willing admit that himself, confessing that it was a special event for him walking into the dressing room the first time.

“It’s normal now, but when I came into the dressing room for the first time it was special,” he said.

“It’s incredibly motivating to be on the pitch with the best players in the world. And when I defend against them in training, I want to show my performance.

“And I think I’m now at a level where I can do that well. Being challenged every day by people like Haaland or Grealish is incredibly great.”