Skipper Stiliyan Petrov wants the Aston Villa fans to give Gareth Barry a warm welcome when he returns with Manchester City for Monday's Barclays Premier League clash.
Petrov believes the Villa supporters should be proud of what Barry achieved at the club where he clocked up more than 400 appearances during a 12-year stay after moving from Brighton.
The England midfielder made the £12million switch to Eastlands in the summer after a move to Liverpool collapsed 12 months earlier when the Reds failed to meet the then £18million asking price.
Petrov said: "Gareth deserves a good reception. The Villa fans should be very proud. Manchester City are building a good team, they want to compete at a high level, and they rate Gareth as one of the best midfielders in the country.
"He gave so much to this club and I think the supporters should give him a very good welcome. Every time he came on the pitch he
tried to make them happy and gave his best for them.
"He played over 400 games for Villa. I have a lot of respect for players who can do that. Not many players can do that. Only players who love a club can do that and that was Gareth with Villa. He is always texting about the club so he still cares. He played a long time here, he just can't forget it, and I hope they give him a warm welcome."