Kyle Walker says Manchester City OWE it to their owners to finally win the Champions League after 2021 heartbreak… with holders Real Madrid standing in their way of another final
- Walker was part of the Manchester City side beaten 1-0 by Chelsea in 2021 final
- Defender is determined to complete clean sweep of silverware under Guardiola
- They enter the second leg of semi-final against Real Madrid with scores at 1-1
Kyle Walker admitted that Manchester City owe it to their owners to lift the Champions League and complete a clean sweep of trophies under Pep Guardiola.
City are 90 minutes away from reaching a second final in three years but have to overcome Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium after last week’s 1-1 draw at the Bernabeu.
Walker, who started the 2021 defeat by Chelsea in Porto, revealed that they need to settles scores for themselves and finally make sure the club gets over the line in Europe.
‘For the owners, for the amount of money they’ve pumped in and the investment, we owe it to them,’ Walker said.
‘Chelsea we didn’t perform as well as we could. We know it was below par on the day. It’s big to every one of us in that dressing room.
Kyle Walker suffered Champions League heartbreak when Man City lost to Chelsea in 2021
The defender believes the players owe it to City’s Abu Dhabi owners to win the trophy this year
Manager Pep Guardiola speaks to City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak during a visit to Abu Dhabi a few years ago
‘We’ve gone through rough moments and hopefully this would be the icing on the cake to make history and put this club on the Champions League map.
‘It’s a massive week for the club. We’ve put ourselves in a pretty good situation compared to two months ago. We’ve been more than confident at the Etihad in the last few years in the Champions League.’
Guardiola said he would ‘sign right now’ for a repeat of last year’s drama-filled 4-3 first leg win against Real but wants his players to forget about the ramifications of potential defeat.
‘They don’t have to put much pressure for the owners or me,’ he said. ‘They have to do it for themselves. The plyers don’t owe us anything.
‘They have to just play as well as they can. It’s not necessary to tell them how much this means. They know it. They felt it last season. We are blessed to be here.’
Walker’s duel with Vinicius Junior was the most intriguing match up in last week’s first leg and the pair’s embrace at full time will be an enduring image of the campaign.
At 32, the City right-back believes he is still as equipped to deal with the quickest wingers in Europe.
Walker had a compelling battle with Vinicius Jr during last week’s Bernabeu first leg
Kyle Walker (right) shared an embrace with Vinicius Jnr at full-time in Madrid last week
The defender claimed it was as a result of Vinicius trying to ‘rainbow flick’ him during the game
‘I went to hug him because he went to rainbow flick me – I don’t want to be a meme,’ Walker laughed. ‘Boxers when they have a good battle shake hands after, that’s the respect I gave for him.
‘You show respect but tomorrow night there will be no respect after the whistle. It’s dog eat dog.
‘I wouldn’t say Vinicius is provocative. He does what he needs to get his team over the line. I try not to get involved. If someone is trash talking then it doesn’t other me.
‘He lets his football do the talking. There are clips of him going down easy and asking for yellows: it’s part and parcel of the game.’
Walker has forced his way back into Guardiola’s plans after sitting out a number of games recently and went soul-searching after being dropped.
‘I have to react as a professional,’ he said. ‘Certain opinions you don’t always agree with but what Pep’s done for me, and for City, is nothing short of tremendous.
‘Did it hurt? Of course it did. You start to doubt yourself. You have to go back to basics.’
Vinicius Junior scored a stunning strike to give Real Madrid the advantage in the first leg
Kevin De Bruyne’s great strike ensured City returned to Manchester with honours even
Source: Read Full Article