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SOCCER

Gündogan: “Real Madrid are a stunning side”

The Manchester City midfielder chatted to German broadcaster Sport 1 to look ahead to the Champions League semi-final against Real Madrid.

Update:
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 19: Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan in action during training at Manchester City Football Academy on April 19, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Tom Flathers/Manchester City FC via Getty Images)
Tom FlathersGetty

Ilkay Gündogan says Manchester City will need to be at their best if they are to get past Real Madrid and book their place in next month’s Champions League final. In an interview with German TV channel Sport 1, the City midfielder spoke about the quality Real Madrid has running through their squad, Benzema’s merits for claiming this year’s Ballon d’Or and City’s battle with Liverpool to be crowned Premier League champions.

Neck and neck with Liverpool in the Premier League title race: “It’s a frenetic and exhilarating race both for us and the fans. Liverpool are incredibly strong - with the sensation that they are going to win every game. They force us to stay focused and we can’t afford even one slip-up. That keeps tension high in every moment. One of the reasons we play football is to be in situations like this. It’s looking likely that we will have to win all of our remaining games to end up being champìons”.

City’s strong points: “We’re a top team, we are strong and versatile both individually and collectively. We have grown together as a team, developing as a unit and individually; we go into every game totally focused, with maximim concentration. If we can continue like this for the next few weeks, we’ll end up first”.

Champions League semi-final against Madrid: “It’s a huge game - against a side who beat PSG and Chelsea, they’ll be tough to break down. We aew well aware of that. As a side, they’re stunning. Karim Benzema, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos... They’ve all spent years performing consistently to an incredibly high level. And then there’s Vinicius, who is also playing really well, especially this season... I think we cabn expect a more attacking game than the one we played against Atlético”.

Karim Benzema’s chances of winning the next Ballon d’Or: “Right now, for me, Benzema is, along with Lewandowski, tyhe best striker in the world. He’s good with both feet, good in the air... I think he was underrated in the past and now he is proving his critics were wrong. For a long time he was in Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow, especially in the press, but now he’s getting the attention and credit he deserves. His achievements speak for themselves. Benzema has everything it takes to win the Ballon d’Or”.

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