Few players have had the good fortune to be coached by both Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola throughout their careers – undoubtedly two of the greatest coaches in the game today – but Ilkay Gündoan is one of them, and it was one of the many subjects discussed when the German international recently sat down with MR PORTER.
This season, Ilkay Gündoan has been utterly superb, hitting a groove marginally higher up the pitch that has left City hardly missing the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero when they have been out injured. It doesn’t get any better than that in terms of praise. If you haven’t seen him on your fantasy team at any stage this season, you’re playing the game incorrectly.
Following in the footsteps of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gündoan sat down with MR PORTER’s ‘The Journal’ after a shoot for an in-depth conversation on a variety of subjects, from serving on a beer truck and battling corona to getting in the penalty area at just the right moment.
“I’d heard that [Pep] liked me as a player from a couple of people, but then we were waiting in the tunnel to come out and he walked past and gave me a little hit in the stomach while laughing in my direction. I had a feeling at the time.
Pep and Jürgen are two very distinct styles of bosses. Both are awesome and have personality styles that I like, but Jürgen is the motivator that trains you for war, while Pep is someone who pays an enormous amount of attention to the technical aspects of the game; he still needs a strategy and to find trends in the game. That is why he favors players who are intelligent, adaptable, and versatile.”
“To all who think it’s flu-like, let me just say that I’ve never had such the flu. It was terrifying, not only from a medical standpoint but also from a psychological standpoint, you know, like getting corona when there is a pandemic going on and many people have died as a result of the disease. It makes sense to be afraid, but I’m also young, fit, and a professional athlete, so worrying about my grandparents or parents still makes me feel worse. What if the ones I care about the most in my life catch it? On top of that, there are questions over the long-term implications. So far, luckily, I don’t feel like my life was any different before Covid, but we don’t know for sure.”