City eased to victory in Lisbon in the Champions League, but Pep Guardiola made headlines by declaring Nunes as one of the best midfielders in the world following the game, having been so impressed with his performance for Sporting.
Nunes joined Wolves that summer and played 12 months at Molineux before he became City&aposs fourth major transfer arrival of the summer on deadline day, 18 months on from impressing Guardiola in that game in Lisbon.
Juanma Lillo was on the coaching staff during that campaign, and as returned to City after leaving during the 2022/23 season. Standing in for Guardiola at his weekly press conference, Lillo explained just how much of an impact Nunes had on City back in 2022.
“Pep has already made reference to Matheus a while back,” Lillo explained. “It surprised us when we played Sporting Lisbon in the Champions League. He surprised us. In that game it was 5-0 but everything happened quick in that game, it wasn&apost a real scoreline.
“He carried on playing throughout that game, showing a personality and will to play. He did things very well and also the hard work he put in. He has the understanding of a collective team. That put us on guard, we thought &aposthis player?&apos We started looking at him with an objective to following him. It&aposs not a surprise he will offer many things in the future.”