The Etihad Stadium’s first truly great European night? A Champions League match for the ages?
“This was one of the crazy ones, definitely,” says Kevin De Bruyne, among the chief architects of Manchester City’s 5-3 comeback against Monaco tuesday.
The 25-year-old might have starred in comparable matches during his time in Belgium and Germany, but admits the game was “nerve-racking with a lot of emotion.”
“Luckily we won the game,” he says, as City take part in warm-weather training on the grounds of Abu Dhabi’s Emirates Palace.
“It’s not done yet but obviously a nice feeling to win in the end. Hopefully we can go through against Monaco and see what we can do after that.”
Since Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi United Group began transforming the English club in 2008, success at this stage of Europe’s premier club competition has rarely come easily.
“We’ve only been in the Champions League for four, five years,” De Bruyne reflects.
“Obviously it’s something new in the beginning but the team is establishing itself more and more in Europe and last year to reach the semifinal was already good,” added the Belgium international, referring to City’s loss to Real Madrid last season.
“I think it’s getting better and better with the team every year.”