The Brazilian produced a vintage performance as he was restored to the starting line-up against Arsenal and earned praise from Pep Guardiola for the manner in which he demanded improvements from his team-mates earlier this season.
“He is leading us and is there when we need him,” he explained ahead of the first leg of our Champions League last 16 tie against Borussia Monchengladbach.
“His performance against Arsenal is incredible, he is always there for us and talks to us. And then of course the way he plays. He is a real leader. He's someone we need. We are happy to have him.
“He gives us the right things at the right time. He knows when to speak up, when to be quiet and what to do.”
Fernandinho is not alone in having a special knack for understanding when the team needs support.
Our No.8 believes that’s crucial if you’re to be successful as he acknowledged the efforts of those players who are not always involved in the first team squad.
“Other players come to mind like this,” added the 30-year-old.
“Mendy struggled with injuries but he knows in what moment what to do to help the team. No egos at all. That’s the way to win and achieve great things.
“Right now everything is balanced well - even the players on the bench or not travelling help.
“Today we had some youngsters who didn't even touch the ball in training because we were doing build-up but they always do their best and that is important.”
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