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"We All Thought He Was Awful!" - Former Man City Defender Recalls Star Midfielder's First Impression at the Club

CityXtra
CityXtra
 2021-11-22
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At 36 years of age, Fernandinho is still a Rolls-Royce of a footballer.

His 360 appearances for Manchester City have been incredibly successful, winning four Premier League titles, one FA Cup, six League Cup's, and reaching the club's first-ever Champions League final last season.

The Brazilian midfielder been an ever-present in defensive midfield for nearly eight years and has constantly produced high-quality performances at the very highest level.

So it seems very strange to hear that some Manchester City players didn't think he was geared up for success upon his arrival from Shakhtar Donetsk in the summer of 2013.

Micah Richards was speaking on the Match of the Day Top 10 podcast, as relayed by the Manchester Evening News, about the Brazilian's arrival at the club and how he fared in his first days at the Etihad Stadium.

"The team was getting better and he filled the gap. He has been consistent for about nine years," Richards began.

"When he first came, he was sick in pre-season. The intensity, we all thought he was awful. If he can't keep up with the running. You can quote me on that, we were like 'what is this'?"

Hearing this was certainly a surprise for plenty of Manchester City fans, who have become so accustomed to brilliant performances from the veteran - week in, week out.

Micah Richards did however caveat his story to point out that when Fernandinho got up to speed, it was clear what sublime talent he possessed.

"It took him two weeks to get back fit and he's the best defensive midfielder [in the Premier League] from then. I played with Yaya Toure and Patrick Vieira, he wasn't as talented as them but he was more efficient than them."

Fernandinho continued, "You could rely on him every single game. He'd do the same, always give 100 percent. He was a great leader too. Spoke perfect English. "

"You see those little yellow cards when he fouls you then says sorry. He used to do that in training all the time," the former right-back concluded.

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