Few players have been lucky enough to have been coached by both Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola in their careers – arguably two of the best managers in the game today – but Ilkay Gündoğan is one of them, and that was one of the many topics in focus when the German international sat down with MR PORTER recently.

Ilkay Gündoğan has been in absolutely outstanding form this season, finding a rhythm slightly higher up the pitch that left City barely missing the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero while they were out injured. Praise doesn’t get much higher than that. Honestly, if you haven’t had him in your fantasy team at some point this season, you’re playing the game wrong.

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Following in the footsteps of Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold, Gündoğan sat down with MR PORTER’s 'The Journal' following a shoot for an in-depth discussion about a range of topics, from working on a beer truck and battling corona to arriving in the penalty area at just the right time. 

I’d been told by a couple of people that [Pep] liked me as a player, but then we were waiting in the tunnel to go back out and he came past and gave me a little hit in the stomach and smiled in my face. I kind of knew then."
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Pep and Jürgen are very different kinds of manager. Both are great and have personality types I get along with, but Jürgen is the motivator who prepares you to go into battle while Pep is someone who pays an incredible amount of attention to the tactical details of the game, he always wants a plan and to see patterns in the game. That’s why he likes players that are smart, flexible and versatile.”
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To the people who say it’s like flu, let me just say that I have never had such a flu. It was scary, not just the physiological aspect but the psychological side of it, you know, like actually having corona when you have a pandemic going on and a lot of people who have died from the illness. It makes sense to be scared and yet I’m still young, healthy and a professional sportsman, so, for me, it is always worse thinking about my grandparents or parents. What happens if those who I most love in my life actually catch it? On top of that are the worries about the long-term effects. So far, fortunately, I don’t feel like there is anything different to my life before Covid, but we don’t really know 100 per cent.”
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Head to mrporter.com to read the full interview.

Photography by Jon Gorrigan/ MRPORTER.COM