It’s a fact that Fernandinho has been one of the best players to lace his boots for Manchester City. For many of the club’s faithful, the Brazilian ticks all the boxes to be considered a club legend. He has been instrumental to City’s success on the pitch in the last seven years.
The midfielder, who recently turned 35 on May 4 has played a key role in the team’s success and achievements in his time at the Etihad Stadium. Last season was arguably his best in the blue shirt, but he has been reinvented as a defender this term.
The midfielder-turned center-back has reflected on his career so far.
Baring his mind in a recent interview with Sky Sports, he highlighted some of the key moments. He reflected on his move to Ukraine when he signed for Shakhtar Donetsk at the age of 20.
“It was a completely different country, culture, weather,” he said.
“Everything was different. I had the support from my team-mates, from the coach, but I was also open to learning, you know? I was always like that and I think it helped because I paid attention to everything the coach said and then tried to put it into the training sessions and of course the games.”
He went on to spend eight fruitful years there before moving to Manchester City in 2013. Understandably, the 35-year-old holds his time there dear to his heart.
“In eight years, we did a great job there,” he recalled. “I made a collection of friends that I still have now. When I look back, I am so happy because we won a lot of trophies. We won the UEFA Cup, we played in the Champions League quarter-finals. It was prestigious for us to do that in Ukraine with a lot of Brazilians. I learned so much and I will be grateful to the club forever.
But he has also enjoyed a trophy-laden period at the Etihad Stadium. As a part of the most successful era in the club’s history, the former Atletico Paranaense youth player has been a near-ubiquitous presence in the City team over the last seven seasons. He has played a vital role in the club’s three Premier League title triumphs, racking up more appearances than any other player. his outstanding performance even earned him a spot in the PFA Team of the Year last term.
He has so far proven to be one Pep Guardiola’s most important players. The Catalan boss counted on him to fill the void left in the defence as a result of Aymeric Laporte’s long-term injury early into the season. Although, the team has been unable to defend the league title for the second successive year, things could have been worse without him.
He was rewarded for his performance with a one-year extension to his contract. But when asked if he would like to stay with the club beyond that time, he grinned before responding.
“First of all, I just want to get back to work and play again. I extended my contract a couple of months ago and I am so happy, but after that, we’ll see.
“If we have another conversation about another contract in the future, I would be happy. But if not, I would be happy as well because I know what I have done for this club and what this club has done for me, how they have helped me. This time has been a pleasure for me.
“Manchester City will always be in my heart. That’s for sure.”