Jesus Navas says he will have mixed feelings when Manchester City take on Sevilla in the Champions League next week.
Navas joined City from Sevilla in 2013, despite having previously suffered from homesickness so severe he left Spain training camps and declined a move to Chelsea in 2006.
The 29-year-old won the UEFA Cup and the Copa del Rey twice during his time at Sevilla but is now settled at City, who he helped to a Premier League and League Cup double in his first season at the Etihad Stadium.
And, after playing an integral role in City’s 6-1 demolition of Newcastle United in their last Premier League encounter, Navas is relishing next Wednesday’s reunion with his former club, who are level on three points with Manuel Pellegrini’s men after the first two Group D matchdays.
“Sevilla is everything to me in sporting terms,” Navas he is quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News. “It is where I was born and grew up as a player, but now I can only think of Manchester.
“They took a gamble on me and I always want to justify that. Their deal with me is wonderful and I only have good words for the club.”
Navas will then have the opportunity to return to Sevilla next month when City face Unai Emery’s side again at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
He added: “For me it will be a game of mixed feelings. I want to play against Sevilla. Now we play in Manchester, but the return to the Sanchez Pizjuan will be awesome… it will be very special for me.
“I gave everything for Sevilla, and always, always felt the affection of the fans – they are already in my heart forever.”