Fernandinho’s time in Manchester has brought him countless riches, Premier League winners medals and cult-hero status in the blue half of the city.
But the most important thing of all to the 32-year-old has been the way it has reinvigorated his international career.
And with the 2018 World Cup in Russia just around the corner, the Brazil star is desperate to translate his magnificent club form with Pep Guardiola’s world beaters into Selecao success this summer.
The midfielder had won just five caps for his country before moving to England from Shakhtar Donetsk back in 2013 – but has since become a mainstay of Tite’s squad that will head to Russia as one of the tournament favourites.
“The English league itself is very strong physically, very demanding,” he said.
“All matches have few fouls, which made me adapt really well to playing in England.
“And I’m very happy for it, because it’s already been 5 years and I’ve managed to keep playing for Manchester City regularly – playing a lot and winning titles. All of which allowed me to reach my goal, which is to play for the Brazilian national team.
“Playing for Brazil is a huge pleasure. I think it’s a huge pride. It’s that childhood dream we all talk about.
“When you’re a child, you watch Brazil on TV and feel that desire to be a national team player, so when you get here you make a dream come true, and it’s a huge honour to me and to every player who wears the Brazil shirt.”
Brazil take on Croatia at the start of June at Anfield in a pre-tournament warm-up clash.
Fernandinho knows the stadium all too well after Premier League and Champions League defeats there this season against Liverpool.
But the Man City star – who now has 41 caps for his country – cannot wait to return and get the Samba party started when the Brasil Global Tour hits Merseyside.
“It’ll be nice, I think it’ll be very interesting,” he said. “I hope the Brazilian fans are able to come to support us, because the national team brings a lot fans to the stadium everywhere it goes, and I hope that won’t be different in England.
“It’s a place we know really well and somewhere are used to playing, so I think it’ll be a very beautiful show.”
While Neymar continues his fitness race to recover in time for the tournament this summer, Brazil are blessed with plenty of other attacking riches.
Not least Fernandinho’s City teammate Gabriel Jesus and former Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho, now at Barcelona.
But the key to Brazil’s cruise through qualification for the tournament has undoubtedly been coach Tite, who took over in 2016 to lead them to Russia with ease.
“I can say that I’ve changed a lot as a player since the last World Cup, both in my club and with the national team,” Fernandinho added.
“I’ve managed to improve a lot in terms of my football, so I think I’m a very different player to 4 years ago.
“And there is no doubt that the national team itself is very different; with new players, with a different technical team, with a different game style and game patterns. So, we’ve all changed and I believe the results will show that we have changed for the best.
“The Selecao is always treated as favourites, so we’re aware of our responsibility and the goal is always to enter every competition to win, and the World Cup is no different.
“I think our preparation has been extremely well executed by the technical staff and by all the players, and now our hope is to get to Russia’s World Cup final.”