Samir Nasri says he owes former manager Arsene Wenger for enabling him to fulfil his dreams in the Premier League.
The 25-year-old was a regular under Wenger at Arsenal, but since his big-money switch to Manchester City in 2011, Nasri has seen himself slip down the pecking order amid fierce competition for starting places at Etihad Stadium.
Nasri said he owes plenty to the Arsenal boss.
“If I’m here today it’s because of him. I’ll never forget what he did for me.
“I owe him a lot. He gave me confidence not just as a player but as a man as well.
“That is why I really respect him and really like him because he cared about the men, not just about the players.
“For some managers they want you to be on the pitch and that is it.
“For him he wants to talk to you, to know a little more about you to give you the confidence, it was like a second love for me.
“I played fantastic football for three years and I learned how to play at a high level with a lot of Champions League and I was always in the race for the title.
“And I played with great players, a great manager and it was a great experience.”
Despite praising his former team, Nasri insisted he made the right choice in leaving the north London club, backing up his decision with a Premier League winners’ medal.
“It was a good challenge for me to come here and win titles because that is what I was missing at Arsenal,” he said.
“Everything was great but I wanted titles.
“So I went to City because I wanted to make history and be part of history and that’s what we did. It was 44 years after their last one and I’m very happy.”
Nasri’s City side take on his former club Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, looking to keep in touch with Premier League leaders Manchester United.