Benjamin Mendy says the dream of winning the Champions League with Manchester City has sharpened his focus whilst training during lockdown.
City hold a 2-1 aggregate lead over Real Madrid after the first leg of our last 16 tie, with the second leg yet to be played after the competition was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A decision is yet to be made as to whether play will resume, but Mendy says the desire to lift the biggest prize in club football has motivated him to ensure he is ready ahead of any potential return to action.
“We had a good game in Madrid and now we still have to play the second leg,” said the Frenchman.
“I know that in the minds of every player they know that just because we won there does not mean that it is finished or that we are qualified.
“It is not every day that you go to somewhere like the Bernabeu and perform like that in the Champions League.
“We have an opportunity to go far in this cup and we want it, so everybody wakes up, works out, stays focused on the target for when they say we can come back.
“We don’t have the Champions League yet so it is the dream.”
It has not all been about football in the Mendy household, however.
With COVID-19 causing everyday life to slow down dramatically, the 25-year-old admits he has been reflecting on what is important.
He has taken advantage of his increased time at home to enjoy other aspects of his life and to learn some new skills, whilst he has welcomed the opportunity to concentrate on Ramadan.
“All of the people have missed football, but at this time now, for Muslim people it means I can be more focused on Ramadan,” he explained.
“We don’t train, we can fast, but the mosques are closed and we can’t go out or see family at Eid. So I have missed the football but it makes you focus on the more important things.
“I have tried to develop myself and learn every day.
“First of all, I was just working out and training, but then I wanted to learn some new stuff as well so I started painting and I like it now.
“Some of my family bought me some stuff to make cooking easier, it helps to learn, and it has been nice. I try to keep busy and do some new stuff.
“I hope everyone is good and all the families are safe. I know that this is a difficult moment, but it is going to be better.”