After the FA Cup victory, cup hero Ilkay Gündogan wants to make the historic triple perfect with Manchester City. He leaves questions about his future open. Pep Guardiola is unusually emotional.
Pep Guardiola celebrated the second of three possible titles with tears in his eyes – and then spoke proudly about his “extraordinary” cup hero Ilkay Gündogan.
With two goals, the German national player decided the FA Cup final for Manchester City and, above all, nurtured the hope that this season for the Cityzens and coach Guardiola will end next Saturday with the most important of all trophies.
“I’m so proud to be the captain of this team. (…) We have the chance to create something special and win the treble,” said Gündogan after the 2-1 win over Manchester United while he was on the pitch lawn was celebrated. “We don’t want to miss this opportunity.” The euphoric fans kept chanting “Istanbul” from the stands. The English double winner travels to the Turkish metropolis as the favorite for the final of the Champions League against Inter Milan.
Gündogan leaves the future open
“We have to admit, without the Champions League it was incredible and it was fun, but we would miss that,” said Guardiola, who had won the premier class twice as a coach with FC Barcelona. His captain Gündogan plays a central role in the next attempt, on Saturday he scored the opening goal after twelve seconds, the fastest final goal in the more than 150-year history of the FA Cup. After Bruno Fernandes (33′) equalized with a penalty, the 32-year-old scored again in the 51st minute. “Top Gun” was the title of the tabloid “Mirror” on Sunday’s sports page.
Guardiola’s success this season is closely linked to Gundogan. The two are neighbors, “have lived on the same floor for many years, so he’s a close friend of mine,” said the Spanish star coach, who absolutely wants to keep the German international in Manchester, in the BBC interview. Both had come to Manchester in 2016. “He’s playing exceptionally well,” said Guardiola. The negotiations about an extension of the contract, which expires at the end of the season, do not seem easy.
Gündogan, in which, according to media reports, FC Barcelona and various clubs from the Premier League and the Bundesliga are said to be interested, left the question of his future open. “Nothing has been decided yet,” said the international after accepting congratulations from FA President Prince William at Wembley. “We’ll see what will happen.”
The announcement of a decision before the important final next Saturday is probably not to be expected. “Our focus now is on resting and recovering and being perfectly prepared for next week’s Champions League final,” said Gündogan, who will then travel to the national team for the final two internationals before the summer break. “I can promise our fans that we will do everything we can to win in Istanbul.”
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