Manuel Pellegrini knows Real Madrid have plenty of threats other than Cristiano Ronaldo – but Manchester City have Sergio Aguero.
Ronaldo missed the first leg of the Champions League semi-final last week with a thigh problem but is ready to return at the Bernabeu on Wednesday night after coming through training unscathed.
Pellegrini, however, has warned that stopping Real is about much more than shutting out Ronaldo.
Pellegrini said: “Cristiano will always be a different player. He scores a lot of goals and has throughout his six years here.
“However, I don’t think Real are just Cristiano Ronaldo. We must work as a team defending and attacking. It is not just against Ronaldo but against Real Madrid.”
City have their own star forward in Aguero, who has scored 28 goals this season, and Pellegrini hopes the Argentine will be back at his best after being rested for the weekend defeat at Southampton.
Pellegrini said: “I always say these kind of games are decided by the best technical players. We have Sergio and I am sure we will see him in a good performance.”
Pellegrini’s tactical plan
Pellegrini also intends to continue playing in the same free-spirited way that has seen them claim good results away at Borussia Monchengladbach, Sevilla, Dynamo Kiev and Paris Saint-Germain this season.
He said: “In the three seasons in the Champions League we have played very well away.
“We will continue trying to play in exactly the same way. The pressure in the Bernabeu is high pressure but I think we have the personality and the football to try to beat them.
“Everyone must trust in their team. We trust in ours and I hope we can demonstrate it in the 90 minutes.
“We are sure we will need to make a very good performance to reach the final – it would be the first time we’ve reached it.”
The match marks a return to the Bernabeu for Pellegrini, having spent a single season in charge of Real before being sacked in 2010 after finishing runners-up to Barcelona.
Again, he played down any suggestion of holding a grudge.
The Chilean said: “It is a stadium with good memories but I have been back many times. There is no problem. It was an important year here and I had the support of everyone.”
Man City injury update
Pellegrini confirmed Yaya Toure is fit and in contention to play after missing the last two games with a thigh injury.
Some confusion did arise as it was reported the midfielder had not travelled despite participating in an open training session on Tuesday morning, but that was not true.
Pellegrini said: “I don’t know the news that Toure wasn’t travelling because he trained without problem the whole week.
“He has a lot of experience and quality. He won a Champions League for Barcelona here so he will be important.”
One player who will not be involved, however, is full-back Pablo Zabaleta due to a muscle injury.
Pellegrini was speaking at a press conference on the eve of the match at the Bernabeu, where he was accompanied by defender Gael Clichy.
Clichy hopes City can make history and seize the chance to reach the final for the first time.
The France international said: “It’s not every day you can play a semi-final of the Champions League but it will only be special if we go through.
“We’re going to try really hard. It’s going to be a really tough game, we want to make history and to go through.”