Manuel Pellegrini says Manchester City do not fear Real Madrid after they were drawn together in the Champions League semi-finals.
Pellegrini said City, the least fancied side left in the tournament, can cause a major upset by knocking out the Spanish giants to reach the final.
City boss Pellegrini was sacked by Real in 2010 after a season in charge and is ready to take the ultimate revenge on his old club by dumping them out of Europe.
“There are no favourites, it’s exactly the same,” said Pellegrini. “Both teams have the same options.
“Maybe another way of thinking is to say no they have all the pressure because they’re a big team and we’re only invited to the semi-final, but I don’t think that is the way.
“We have the same options as Real Madrid and we’re going to play against them like we always do, playing and thinking as a big team and trying to score the most amount of goals we can at home, so I hope this team will reach the final this year.
“They have very big players and maybe they are the most important team in the world, but we also have very good players and we know that if we play how we play every week, we have an option to win.”
Pellegrini also said he was relieved Barcelona – who dumped City out of the Champions League the past two years – are themselves out, suggesting Real do not pose then same threat as their Spanish rivals.
Asked if he celebrated Barca’s exit, Pellegrini said: “No, I didn’t celebrate, but if you ask me ‘do I not prefer to play against them?’