What Nathan Ake Has Said About His Time At Chelsea, Speaking Ahead of the Champions League Final
From relegation to celebration, the Dutchman has enjoyed a decorated first season in Manchester after his move from relegated Bournemouth last summer.
But Aké also had a spell at Chelsea as a youngster and he has fond memories of his time there.
“I had a very good time at Chelsea. I went there as a very young kid and grew older. I played a few games for them and have some very good memories but now I am here and just focused on City. Hopefully we can win it, it is a massive game."
"They are doing very well at the moment as you can see. They are here for a reason and one of the best teams in the world right now. The manager has done really well since he has come in and they have so many young players who have come through the youth and very well-established Premier League players now."
Nathan Aké believes previous defeats against Chelsea this season will hold no bearing on Saturday's crunch game in Porto, re-affirming that 'a final is a final'.
"It is a very tough game and it was the last time we played a few weeks ago. A final is a final and anything can happen and we will see. It will be good to see the guys again but on the day it is just about City and we have to give everything to try and win it."
"I have very good memories there and learned a lot, won a few things, managed to make my debut quite early when I was 17 with Rafa Benitez, won the Europa League as well."
"I had some good times there, grew up and had some loans to different clubs and I think that is where I learned a lot as I was playing week in, week out and getting stronger and older.”
It's unknown whether the 26 year-old will play any part in the Champions League final, but achieving such a historic feat would be his dream come true.
“I think every young kid [dreams of playing in the final]," Ake said.
"Especially Dutch players as well. I think Seedorf won three or four, so there are so many big players in Holland that have done it. Recently, Virgil Van Dijk and the boys from the national team did it as well, so as a Dutch player you grow up with it and you want to do it."
"Now, we are so close and it will be great to do it. This is one of the biggest cups in world football. You have got national team cups like the Euros and the World Cup, but this one is a very big cup and every player wants to be able to play this and to win it. To be able to have a chance to do it is great and we are looking forward to it.”
Pep Guardiola was obviously a massive influence in Aké's decision to join Manchester City, and he's a manager the defender says, that he's always looked up too as a player.
“When we grew up in Holland, we tried to play the way we do over here. You learn it all the way and I have played different positions, so you get to know different positions as well."
"So, to come here and play under this manager is great for me and I always wanted that. You learn so much on the ball and off the ball, the way the team play is great for me and I am still learning even when I am getting older.”
With such a big occasion brings the usual pre-game nerves for the fans, but what about the players? It's something Aké feels is 'normal'.
“It is normal if you get a little bit nervous for games, especially big ones like this. But I think it makes you more excited than nervous. It is more good nerves, you just want to be out there, excited and ready to go.”
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