Aleksandar Kolarov ready to face Cristiano Ronaldo
Aleksandar Kolarov is relishing the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo after dealing with the threat of another wing wonder in Gareth Bale.
Manchester City full-back Kolarov was part of the Serbia side that hammered Bale's Wales 6-1 in Tuesday's World Cup qualifier in Novi Sad.
Wales boss Chris Coleman had warned Kolarov to expect a tough examination against Bale.
But the City defender had the last laugh as he opened the scoring with a free-kick and played a part in the home side's second and third goals as the Dragons were vanquished emphatically.
The Premier League champions meet Stoke at the weekend but then face the daunting task of travelling to the Bernabeu to face Real Madrid in their opening Champions League Group D clash.
And Kolarov, 26, knows just how crucial stopping Ronaldo, who has come in for criticism after claiming he is "sad" at Real, will be if City are to get a result in Spain.
"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," he said. "He scored a great free-kick but apart from that we did not have many problems.
"Ronaldo is something different. 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 Man 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 Man City will look forward to going there."
City were eliminated in the group stages of last season's Champions League, and they face a tough task this time around with their group being completed by Ajax and Borussia Dortmund.
The Blues ultimately paid the price for a slow start that saw them pick up one point from their first two games, and Kolarov knows they cannot afford a repeat.
"We want to do better in the Champions League and qualify but again we have been given a really tough group. This time we need to start better than we did last year," he said.
Meanwhile, City's football development executive Patrick Vieira is confident his former Inter Milan team-mate Maicon has plenty to offer City.
The Brazilian right-back has joined from Inter for an undisclosed fee and Vieira said: "He is a fantastic player.
"I spent a few years with him at Inter and he has experience and talent.
"He has the ambition to be part of the Brazilian national team for the World Cup.
"It is something really important for him and I am sure he will bring a lot to this football club. He is a fantastic character to have around too."
"He has the experience of winning the Italian league and the Champions League and to have him at the football club is fantastic.
"Scott inclair is a young, talented player and hopefully coming to City will help him get to another level.
"Jack Rodwell has already played and has done really well so far, and Javi Garcia is also a young talent - it is exciting to have these players at the club."
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