This season may be the last opportunity Pep Guardiola must win the contest if a UEFA ban is maintained and the midfielder is fearful for his previous club.
Yaya Toure conceded he’s”a bit scared” for Manchester City within their Champions League last-16 experience with Real Madrid.
City went through their group stage unbeaten, winning four of the six matches and scoring 16 times as they topped a pool featuring Atalanta, Shakhtar Donetsk and Dinamo Zagreb.
But, Pep Guardiola’s side were subsequently handed maybe the sternest test potential since they have pitted against 13-time winners Madrid, who just finished second in Group A behind Paris Saint-Germain.
Madrid haven’t dropped a Champions League knockout tie under Zidane, who won three consecutive prizes during his previous reign and returned last March, with Los Blancos’ European pedigree leaving Toure fearful for his previous club City.
“I wanted City to find Lyon or any club like that, but Real Madrid will be a hard game, a very, very challenging game,” Toure told Omnisport.
“But we’ll see – the first game is in the Bernabeu and then it’s [in the] Etihad [Stadium].
“Real Madrid could knock out us. They could, they really could, since we anticipate Real Madrid to maintain the quarter-finals, the semi-finals and they confront City.
“I am a little scared to be honest.”
The first match occurs on Wednesday, February 26, with Madrid then travelling to Manchester for the next leg on March 17.
Madrid were eliminated in the last-16 stage last season by Ajax, which prompted the club to return to Zidane.
The Frenchman has presided over a 15-game unbeaten run in La Liga and Toure was especially impressed by Madrid in their 2-2 home draw with PSG in November, although Zidane’s side threw away a two-goal lead late on.
“The last time I saw a game is when they played Paris Saint-Germain, it was really good,” Toure added.
“Although [PSG] take two goals in the long run, Madrid was on top of Paris Saint-Germain and Paris Saint-Germain are a great, fantastic side.
“I think Paris Saint-Germain will be going forward into the semi-final or closing. We never know. They’re playing really good, they have a fantastic coach.
“I expect Man City is going to pass Madrid but this is a big, big test, a big ask.”