Ilkay Gundogan dubbed Pep Guardiola "the best manager in the world" and said his Manchester City team-mates should feel privileged to play for the Catalan tactician. Gundogan has enjoyed a strong start to the season and suggested Guardiola's ability to engage with players on their level is key to his success. The 27-year-old thinks the manager's pedigree as a player at Barcelona, where he made 472 appearances, influences how he is perceived by his squad.
Guardiola takes his players up a level - Gundogan
"It's a mix of the fact that he played at a very high level on the biggest stage with Barcelona and the fact that he's just a great manager and can change his point of view from a player's point of view to a manager's point of view, which is sometimes a little bit different," Gundogan explained. "This mix makes him, at the moment, the best manager in the world in my opinion and I think a lot of players would love to play for him as well. Everyone who plays for Man City should feel privileged. He is able to teach everyone and bring you to the next level. Even when he doesn't say anything, it's just his personality. When you see him, you want to try your best to make him happy. If you make him happy, you are often happy."
Gundogan ready to shed the mask
Gundogan revealed he is almost ready to remove the protective face mask he has been wearing this season due to an operation on his nose. "I wear it as a protection for my nose," he said. "I think it's obvious that I had a nose surgery straight after the World Cup. I had problems breathing over the last year, so my nose was obviously broken before. At the beginning I struggled a little bit. I'm getting used to it more and more, and my breathing is much better. Maybe I'm going to wear it for a few more days just for protection and then maybe I can leave it and just play like I did before."