Pep Guardiola thinks he would not have stood a chance of getting into his Manchester City team because Fernandinho is "much, much better" than he was.
Milestones and landmarks have tumbled for City this season, with their most recent being an English record for the number of consecutive league wins, which they have now set at 15 and counting.
Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva have arguably gained the most plaudits for their respective efforts, while Sergio Aguero, Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Gabriel Jesus have also starred.
Brazilian midfielder Fernandinho has been an ever-present in the side and, although he has not enjoyed quite the same amount of attention, he has been an integral part of the team's impressive form.
Fernandinho has been so important and effective that former Barcelona and Spain star Guardiola thinks he would have struggled to get into the City team ahead of the Brazilian when he was in the prime of his playing career.
When asked by a reporter at Friday's news conference if he would have forced his way into the XI, Guardiola said: "No way. No way. Fernandinho is much, much better."
Up next for City is the visit of Tottenham on Saturday, with Guardiola's men looking to win a 16th consecutive Premier League game.
The coach praised Spurs - and specifically his counterpart Mauricio Pochettino - for having such a strong reliance on young English talent, highlighting their importance to the country at international level.
"They have really good young players," Guardiola said. "I think the basis for the England national team is from Tottenham.
"Most of the players grew up there, so I think English football can be pleased with what this manager has done with these players, helping the national team to be better."
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