Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany believes his team-mates are ready for the challenge of Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.
City host the 10-times European champions in the first leg of their last-four tie at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday.
It is the first time City have reached this stage of the competition in their history and Kompany is eager to get out on the pitch.
Kompany, who recently returned from a calf injury and was rested at the weekend, said: “When you get to the semi-final, there is nothing bad for you anymore, you just want to play.
“The whole squad has been positive and it has lifted us in the Premier League. It has given us something important to look forward to. If you are not hungry tomorrow, you never will be.”
Kompany was sidelined for a month after suffering his latest calf injury – the 14th of his City career – in the second leg of the last-16 tie against Dynamo Kiev in March.
He returned to action in last week’s Barclays Premier League draw at Newcastle but sat out Saturday’s 4-0 thrashing of Stoke.
Asked about his fitness level at City’s pre-match press conference, the Belgian said: “100 per cent. Everything went well. When you are injured you have to work a lot harder than the rest and that is what I did.
“People talk about my injuries but I talk about my comebacks. That is what I have in my head. People talk about 14 injuries to my calf and I talk about 14 times I have come back and played like I have never been away. It takes a lot of strength of character to do that.”
Midfielder Yaya Toure is City’s only notable absentee after suffering a leg injury at the weekend. Samir Nasri also remains on the sidelines but the Frenchman is not registered to play having missed most of the season following thigh surgery.
The tie brings City’s outgoing manager Manuel Pellegrini up against the club that sacked him in 2010 after just one season in charge.
The Chilean, who is leaving City at the end of the current campaign, insists he has no scores to settle with Real.
He said: “I don’t look back. I always prefer to think about what is happening now.”