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Gundogan: Football should be thankful for Guardiola and Klopp

Gundogan: Football should be thankful for Guardiola and Klopp
Ilkay Gundogan says the football world should be grateful that Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are involved in the game.

The two managers will go head to head once more on Thursday evening, when Liverpool visit the Etihad Stadium as newly crowned Premier League champions.

It is a deserved title, asserts Gundogan, who is one of a select group of players to have worked under Guardiola and Klopp and has first-hand experience of the characteristics which have delivered each man success in both England and Germany.

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They are managers he admires and whilst the two differ in their approach, City’s No.8 admits there is one unifying trait they share.

“Both are amazing managers, there is no doubt about that,” he explained.

“If you are a great manager, you have to have a great personality. This is something they definitely have in common.

“When it comes to the game they both focus on different things.

“Pep is maybe more about positions, dominating the ball, while Jurgen is maybe more like winning the ball and trying to score goals as quick as possible with high intensity.

“I just think they are great human beings and the football world should be grateful that we have these two personalities.”

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There has been a certain symmetry between Gundogan’s career under his current and former boss.

He won every domestic trophy with Klopp at Borussia Dortmund and has done the same with Guardiola since he arrived in Manchester four years ago.

It has been an incredible learning experience for the 29-year-old, who considers himself fortunate to have worked with two of the most influential managers in the modern game.

“I feel privileged to have worked with Jurgen but also to be with Pep now,” he added.

“It was such an amazing time with Klopp at Dortmund and such a successful time as well, I learnt so much from him.

“It is still also such a great time here at Manchester City with Pep. I appreciate every training session, every moment that I can enjoy the game.

“I am grateful and thankful for both, because they taught me so much.”

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Gundogan also had a note of praise for Phil Foden, who has been in fine form since football resumed.

The 20-year-old has three goals and one assist in his three appearances since the restart.

Gundogan has been particularly impressed by the influence Foden has exerted in recent games, suggesting he is coming of age at just the right time, as City begin to prepare for life without the remarkable talents of David Silva.

“I feel like he [Foden] is constantly improving,” said Gundogan.

“When he started training with us you could see that he has a lot of talent and potential, but it is always a different thing to show that potential and put it on the field.

“Because we see it in every training session we know it, but with games you have to show that you are able to play.

“After the quarantine, he’s done so well, scoring, assists, and this is what this team needs. Especially in the position that he plays.

“His numbers are getting better and also his influence on our game is improving.

“I think he is on the right way and with David leaving, it is more important for us to have someone to step into that role.

“Maybe not directly, but with time. He definitely has the potential and we are here to help him to give him the support he needs and I think he can show the best Phil Foden that he can be.”

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