Ilkay Gundogan has revealed what makes Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp two of the best coaches on the planet.
Gundogan, who was signed by Guardiola from Borussia Dortmund for around £22million in July 2016, is currently sidelined through injury.
The 26-year-old ruptured his cruciate in December in the home win over Watford and he will not return before the end of the season.
Gundogan had just begun to find his feet in the Premier League having missed the early part of the season with a dislocated patella.
Asked about the similarities of his old Dortmund boss Klopp and current manager Guardiola, he told ESPN FC: “I see a lot of similarities, to be honest, between both [coaches].
“Both have the ability to be a good friend to a player, with the way they speak to the players. They are both sympathetic. But they know the right moment when to be serious. For us players, that is a very important factor.
“Of course, what we do is what we love – we want to enjoy it, we want to have as much fun as possible. But we have to be serious and it is difficult to find the right balance. Both have that ability.”
Gundogan, who has made 16 City appearances and scored five goals, also explained by Guardiola is one of the best coaches around.
“For me, it starts with his aura. How he’s coaching a team and how he presents himself — not just to the players, but to the public.
“Also, the way he speaks to us, how much he trusts us. He just tries to do the best for each player. I think for a manager, that’s the most difficult thing – to get all players, even the ones who don’t play so much, to get to a good level.
“He knows how the players are thinking. He knows what we think, how we react. Obviously he has the ability to make everyone better. I’ve never seen a player who gets worse after [working under] Guardiola.”