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Mendy: Sterling one of my toughest opponents!

CLASS: Mendy has hailed Raheem as one of the best players he's ever had to face

CLASS: Mendy has hailed Raheem as one of the best players he's ever had to face

Benjamin Mendy says Raheem Sterling is one of the toughest opponents he has faced in football.

The pair came up against each other on a number of occasions growing up, with Mendy a regular for France across various age groups and Sterling an England counterpart.

And the left-back, currently sidelined with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, says Sterling always posed a significant threat.

“Raheem has been annoying me since we were kids!” he said.

“We started to play against each other when we were 16 in France v England games,” he said.

“We met again at 17 during the European Championship. We played again against each other at U20 and U21 level and now at senior level.

Fixtures: City's October games

“Then, of course, Monaco v City last season.

“We know each other very, very well.”

Mendy joined City in the summer from Ligue 1 champions Monaco and he says one of the benfits of the move is he doesn’t have to face Sterling anymore!

“I prefer to play with him, it’s better!,” he said.

“He told me the same when I arrived. It’s the first thing he told me!”

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Mendy says his French compatriot Ousmane Dembele is another player he admires.

Dembele became the second-most expensive player of all time when he joined Barcelona from Borussia Dortmund this summer and Mendy believes he is one of the game’s top talents.

And he also cites Juventus’ brilliant Argentine forward Paulo Dybala as a player he rates highly.

“Ousmane Dembélé. I never played against him but it must be difficult.

“Sterling and Dembélé are two players I know are tough to play against.

“Dybala [Juventus] as well.”

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