Jesus Navas believes Manchester City are “full of desire” ahead of their first ever Champions League quarter-final appearance against PSG next week.
City head to Paris having seen their Premier League title challenge falter in recent weeks, and Manuel Pellegrini’s side now face a fight to retain a top-four place.
City have made solid progress on the European front, and their victory over Dynamo Kiev in the last-16 represented another landmark achievement for the club as they look to firmly establish themselves among the European elite.
Pellegrini will be without key trio Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Yaya Toure for the quarter-final first leg tie in Paris, which may prove costly ahead of the return leg in Manchester.
City managed to avoid heavyweight opposition in Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich, but despite drawing French champions PSG, Navas is optimistic City can progress to the semi-finals.
Speaking about City’s progress, the Spanish winger said: “It’s a great feeling. We’re full of hope and full of desire and we can’t wait for the games to come around.
“It’s really nice to be part of this experience and part of this team that has achieved it. It’s all about going step by step, and with a good performance in this round who knows where we can get to?”
City have not hit the heights this season that their early performances, as they opened the campaign with five successive clean-sheet wins, suggested they might.
But their Champions League progress – and notably away victories at Sevilla and in Kiev – has suggested a growing maturity on the European stage.
Navas said: “The players at this club are the type who are always looking to improve. We always work hard in every training session to try and improve ourselves.
“We’ve got a great challenge ahead for the rest of the season and that serves as an inspiration in itself to continue this hard work and desire to improve that we have as a squad.”
The tie against French champions PSG will bring City up against one of the most formidable players in the world game in Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The former Inter Milan and Barcelona forward has been outstanding throughout the season and Navas is wary of the threat of Ibrahimovic.
“He’s been at this level not just this season but for a long time,” said the 30-year-old. “He’s been performing at the highest level for years.
“It’s not just him but the whole of the Paris Saint-Germain side that we have to be focused on. We have to really work hard to control and get the better of them because not only is it him but they have a great squad of players as well.”