Guardiola confirms Sterling fit, ready to return v. Real Madrid

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Pep Guardiola has hailed Raheem Sterling‘s “amazing” ability to recover from injury as well as the player’s insatiable desire to return to action for Manchester City, while also confirming the 25-year-old is “fit and ready” for Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League clash with Real Madrid.

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On Wednesday, the same day that Man City filed its appeal to the Court of Arbitration of Sport regarding UEFA’s two-year European ban, Guardiola’s side is set for the first leg in its round-of-16 tie in the Spanish capital. The return of Sterling, who has been out since suffering a hamstring injury three weeks ago, will give City a massive boost — quotes from the BBC:

“Raheem is fit, his natural physical condition and regeneration is amazing.

“He told us he could play at West Ham and Leicester but the doctors said be careful as muscular injuries take three weeks. After 15 days, he wanted to play. He is fit, he is ready.”

As for whether or not his side feels any extra pressure to win the Champions League, the only trophy which has eluded them during the Sheikh Mansour era, particularly due to the fact they’re currently set to be excluded from the competition for two seasons, Guardiola insists “there is no special motivation.”

“These players will have a lot of chances to win the Champions League. This season is a big opportunity. I know we play the king of this competition and we know the challenge in front of us but, at the same time, it’s not the last one.

“When you die, after there are no more chances. But in life, if you are in this business and you want to train and play, you never know what is going to happen. There is no special motivation.”