MX23RW : Wednesday, March 25 09:59:07| >> :60:3518:3518:
Mar 17, 2020 at 8pm UK at Etihad Stadium
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Real Madrid

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan hails Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid

Ilkay Gundogan hails Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid
© Reuters
Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan heaps praise on Real Madrid and their manager Zinedine Zidane, but insists that he is "very happy" at the Etihad Stadium.

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has heaped praise on Real Madrid and manager Zinedine Zidane.

The two clubs were due to meet for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie earlier this week, with City leading 2-1 after a memorable comeback at the Bernabeu last month.

The suspension of the football season due to coronavirus has put that showdown on hold for now, but Gundogan has been full of praise for the 13-time European champions.

"To speak about Zidane, you have to do it as a player and as a coach. For me, Zidane is one of the best players of all time, just as he showed with Juventus, Madrid and France. He always played well. Zidane is one of those players I followed as a kid. The way he controlled the ball was incredible and I think every player that plays under him knows that," Gundogan told Marca.

"That's where part of his success as a coach comes from. If someone like Zidane tells you to do something on the pitch, you go and do it. How can you not believe him, how can you not follow him with that career he had as a player? I've never had the chance to speak to Zidane, but I respect him so much as a coach and a player.

"They're one of the best clubs in the world. Not only in football, but one of the best in sport. They've always had top-class players. Since I followed them as a kid, they've always had the best. I have so much respect for everything they've won in the Champions League these last few seasons. That white shirt is unique.

"The Spanish league is one of the best in the world, it's very attractive, I can't deny it. But my latest contract renewal wasn't long ago at all. I'm very happy in Manchester and I've never stopped to think about what could happen in the future.

"Madrid are still one of the best teams in Europe. Also, not only did they have options in the first leg, but they still have them in the second leg. Knockout ties in recent seasons have seen incredible comebacks that no one expected. We have to be careful. Even more so with Madrid."

Gundogan has started all seven of Man City's Champions League matches this season.


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