Men's Team

Gundogan: 'Immense' Fernandinho so important to City

Ilkay Gundogan has highlighted the vital role of 'immense' City captain Fernandinho as the countdown begins to Saturday’s Champions League final with Chelsea.

The showpiece occasion in Porto will be one of the biggest occasions in the Club’s history with City seeking a first-ever Champions League title.

The experience and know-how of Fernandinho could prove vital – both on and off the pitch.

And as he looked ahead to the eagerly-awaited showdown with Thomas Tuchel’s side, midfield colleague Gundogan said it was impossible to stress the importance of Fernandinho’s contribution.

“I really cannot express how important Fernandinho is to us as a group,” Gundogan declared.

“He is immense. Obviously he didn’t get as much game time as others in the squad this season but he knows his role, his responsibility, and what he has to say at the right times, as well.

“This is what a leader is.

“A leader is maybe not the one scoring the goals, playing every minute or with the best passing rate, it is the one who knows what to say in the bad moments and to understand his personal role.

“Even though his personal role, from a sporting perspective, was not an easy one,... He is a big part of our success. He was amazing.

“This is what I expect from a team that is functioning.

“If you wish to have the right characters in the squad, you wish to have a lot of players like Fernandinho. He has the right mindset.

“He is so important; I can't describe it.”

City will head out to Portugal later this week on the back of magnificent domestic season that has seen us regain the Premier League title and claim a fourth successive Carabao Cup.

And ahead of what Gundogan described as the biggest game of their careers, the German stressed that City should not get swept up in the enormity of the occasion and instead stick to the process and methods that has brought us to this stage.

“There is no need to put anyone under pressure,” Gundogan stressed.

“Everyone has done well. I don't think there is much to change. It is about maintaining the level and form, not more.

“Eeverything has worked so well during the season, I just feel like we have the right dynamics in the group. Everything is quite set.

“That’s why I feel we are prepared for it. It is just about repeating what we did.

Not just on Saturday, this week. I will go into that game with the same confidence I went into all the games before.

“It’s a final, everyone deals with the pressure differently over playing that big game. What I try to do is to keep up the levels as high as possible, try to get everyone working 100% on every single training session, not to leave 1% out.

“That’s what I have tried to do all season long. It doesn’t change now before that big game. As one of the captains, that is what I am trying to do and as a whole squad.”

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