"I find myself in a lonely place sometimes...” - Ilkay Gundogan opens up about his struggles during the pandemic

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has opened up about the difficulties he has faced during the Coronavirus pandemic.
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Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has opened up about the difficulties he has faced during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Living alone in Manchester city centre, the Germany international has had to endure long spells without seeing family and friends, has spoken out about his experience this week.

While the 30 year-old is in red hot form on the pitch, he opened up about some of the more lonely moments of this period. In an exclusive interview with The Guardian’s Donald McRae, Gundogan had this to say;

“People always came to visit me in Manchester before. When I played for Dortmund I had family there and my close friend living around the corner. So every day I spent time with them. Even when I was playing for Nürnberg as a teenager I always had people visiting me. So this last year is the first time no one is able to be with me.”

“I find myself in a lonely place sometimes. But I try to stay positive and speak to all the people around me on video calls and WhatsApp", said Gundogan when asked if he gets lonely.

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While he has struggled, the Manchester City man is aware that he is not alone in these circumstances.

“This affects so many people – even those who live close to their families. I don’t know what’s worse, having them so far away and not being able to see them, or having them so close but being apart.”

Although he has faced mental tribulations, Gundogan is more than aware of his privilege as a highly paid footballer. He acknowledged that others are not so fortunate in these times.

“When this pandemic came out of nowhere I understood I was not in a perilous situation myself. I had good food every day, my work routine and being in contact with family for video calls. There are people in much worse situations and I felt a responsibility to help in Germany and here.”

Like many others, Ilkay Gundogan has struggled personally in the past twelve months, but on the field he has excelled. The German is having arguably the best season of his career, boasting a tally of 11 goals in 21 games. 

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