Aleksandar Kolarov is eager to dominate Cristiano Ronaldo when Manchester City travel to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
And the 26-year-old is confident that after keeping Gareth Bale quiet in Premier League ties against Tottenham – and more recently during Serbia’s 6-1 thrashing of Wales – he can do the same with the former Manchester United star.
The Premier League champions travel to Stoke, with the possibility of Sergio Aguero’s return from injury, and then face Europe’s most successful club at the Bernabeu.
“I knew about Bale from the Premier League, I’ve played against him before and I know how good he is but we kept him quiet,” Kolarov said.
“He scored a great free-kick but apart from that we did not have many problems.”
But the Portuguese ace could prove something different for City as they look to improve on their first-year flop in the Champions League last season.
“Ronaldo is something different,” Kolarov added. “Everyone knows about him, there’s nothing much more that you can say about him.
“He’s a special player. With Messi, he is the best player in the world. So to play against someone like that will be a big test. He played for Manchester United too so he will want to score against us.
“But I’ll be confident because City can go to Madrid with confidence. It should be a great night for the club.
“We are the champions of England and they will know it will not be an easy night for them as well. Everyone at City will look forward to going there.”
Roberto Mancini’s men failed to escape their group last year, struggling against Villarreal, Napoli and Bayern Munich – and this year they were drawn against the most difficult opponents of all.
‘The Group of Champions’ is made up of league winners from Netherlands, Germany, Spain and England as City and Real face Borussia Dortmund and Ajax.
And Kolarov is well aware of how important it is start storm out of the blocks and not fall behind to secure qualification.
“We want to do better in the Champions League and qualify but again we have been given a really tough group,” the full-back said. “This time we need to start better than we did last year.