Mumbai City FC captain Rahul Bheke is looking forward to facing Saudi Arabia’s Al Hilal in the AFC Champions League and said that he will not be fazed by the prospect of facing the likes of Neymar.

The Saudi Arabian side have significantly strengthened in the transfer market bringing in the likes of Neymar, Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves, Aleksander Mitrovic and Malcom and the Islanders will have their work cut out when they take on Al-Hilal.

But Bheke who scored the winning goal in Mumbai City FC’s victory over Air Force Club of Iraq in last year’s AFC Champions League revealed the players were keen to be drawn with one of the big Saudi teams.

“Our players were excited like they wanted to face any one of these (Saudi) teams. Some of them are very big Ronaldo fans, so they wanted Al Nassr to be there. And, the others like we all were excited if we could get one of the teams, and then we got the Al-Hilal. So we are looking forward to playing them,” Bheke said during a press conference after the draw.

“I’m super excited. So whenever we will be playing against them. If I play that game, I will make sure that my best will be to stop him (Neymar) from playing well. That’s the best and all that I can do for the team,” he added.

Mumbai City FC will face Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the Durand Cup quarter-final as they gear up for the Indian Super League (ISL) and the AFC Champions League campaigns. Bheke revealed that the team’s aim is to go one step better than last time and qualify for the knockout stage.

“Our preparations for the Champions League will be the same as last time. We got the chance and we did our best and got two wins. But it was not enough for us to qualify for the next round. We have to get to the next round, thus our preparations have already started.” Bheke said.

The Islanders will also face Iran’s Nassaji Mazandaran and Uzbekistan’s Navabhor in the group stage of the AFC Champions League along with Al-Hilal and Bheke feels the team would be helped by the presence of the home fans this time around.

“We just have to go there, do our best, and play in front of the fans, like we all experienced last season during the ISL, that how great the support was and how well we did at our home. So we’re super excited to play the Champions League matches in front of the fans,” he said.

The 32-year-old also felt the Mumbai City FC players who also play for the Indian national team will benefit from the AFC Champions League as it will help them get ready for the AFC Asian Cup in January.

“These matches are important before we go there because we know the level of the Asian Cup. So for the Mumbai boys, who all will be there in the national team, it’s certainly a good test and a great challenge for them before the Asian Cup,” the Islanders skipper said.

Mumbai City FC will begin their AFC Champions League campaign against Iran’s Nassaji Mazandaran on September 18 in Pune.