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‘These days are showing who the true heroes are’ – Gundogan on coronavirus isolation

13:58 GMT+4 18/03/2020
Ilkay Gundogan Manchester City 2019-20
The Manchester City and Germany midfielder gave his support to medical workers dealing with the global pandemic

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has said that the coronavirus crisis has shown the world that the “true heroes” in the world todays are the medical staff who look after the population and has lifted the lid on what he is doing during this period of isolation.

Across the globe, there have been close to 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 8,000 deaths, prompting the shutdown of whole countries.

Football has been touched by the pandemic, with all of the world’s major competitions put on hold, Euro 2020 pushed back by a year to 2021 and numerous players found to be infected.

“These days are showing who the true heroes are. And they're not footballers or athletes,” Gundogan told Marca.

“Right now, in this delicate situation, there are lots of doctors and health workers who are giving their lives for all of us. I don't think we can thank them enough for what they're doing for us, they're saving our lives.”

Manchester City were chasing Champions League glory when the enforced shutdown arrived, with Pep Guardiola’s side leading Real Madrid 2-1 after winning in Spain. Gundogan is hopeful that the second leg will be played at some point.

“That would mean that everything will have turned out alright. I see that there's already an alternative calendar to finish everything, but the health of everyone is the most important thing at the moment,” he said.

He also lifted the lid on what he is doing to stay sharp during this period.

“We all have an individual training plan and I can also use the gym at home, so keeping fit isn't a problem for me, to be honest. Yes, I really miss having a ball at my feet, but I don't think the break is going to affect me too much, I will keep fit,” he said.

“We're all connected on WhatsApp and we're giving daily updates, talking about news. Then each one of us has their individual work plan. That's it, we can't do much else right now. But we're all connected to keep ourselves in the loop.”

England’s Premier League is currently locked down until April 4, with City pencilled in to play host to runaway league leaders Liverpool on April 5, a fixture that remains under grave threat of postponement.