Kyle Walker feels Manchester City I owe the club owner Sheikh Mansur to earn Champions League.
City After years of near miss in their quest to win the trophy for the first time, they are once again aiming for the biggest prize in European club football.
Losing to Chelsea in the final two years ago is the closest they’ve come, but Wednesday brings another opportunity to reach the flamboyant fixture as they host Real Madrid in the second leg of their semi-finals.
The draw was delicately balanced after a 1-1 draw in the Spanish capital last week.
City have won the Premier League six times since the sheikh bought the club in 2008 and are now on the verge of a seventh local title, but the Champions League has long been viewed as their ‘holy grail’.
Right-back Walker said: “He is missing at the club and we owe it to the owners and the amount of money they have pumped into this club and the investment they have made.
“We owe it to ourselves and take some revenge on ourselves for going to the Champions League final against Chelsea and not doing our best, because we know it was below average that day.
But we have a tough opponent to beat to get to the Champions League final. This is a ‘final’, anything can happen. The first job is to beat Real Madrid, then let’s see the final.”
City dominated the first game at the Bernabeu in terms of possession, but Real was sharp on the counter attack and created clearer opportunities.
Walker gets into a tough fight with the brisk Vinicius Junior who scored Real’s goal, and the City defender is enjoying another game against the Brazilian.
The couple embraced as a sign of respect after meeting last week, but Walker also explained that there was extra meaning in the gesture.
She said: “I went to hug him for trying to give me a rainbow flick, so it was like, ‘Please don’t try this again – I don’t want to be a meme.
“But boxers fight, put up a good fight and then shake hands and that’s the level of respect I have for him.
“It’s the same for the other players, when it’s a good game, go show them that level of respect because they deserve it.
“I’ll give him the respect he deserves (after the final whistle), but before that, dogs eat dogs.
“It’s a personal battle against one of the best players in the world.
“I’ve come across a lot of people who are just as good as him over the years, but I think he’s in the best form of his life, so whoever gets chosen to play in this position to defend against him, it’s going to be great.”
It could be an unforgettable week for City, who will also hold the Premier League title if they beat Chelsea on Sunday.
“I think it’s been big for everyone in the dressing room. We know the goals at the end – it’s a very big week for the club,” said Walker.