Guardiola sorry for Gundogan as UEFA moves Champions League final to Porto

By Sports Desk May 13, 2021

Pep Guardiola wanted Manchester City to play the Champions League final in Istanbul for Ilkay Gundogan's sake but said the move to Porto was not a problem for the club.

City manager Guardiola has led the team to a first final in Europe's premier club competition, and they will face Chelsea on May 29 for the trophy they crave.

UEFA declared on Thursday that the game would move to Portugal, in the wake of Turkey being added to a travel 'red list' by the UK government due to COVID-19 concerns.

With UK tourists set to be allowed to visit Portugal from May 17, without the need to quarantine at any stage of their journey, it means supporters will be able to take up the allocation of 6,000 tickets per club.

"If UEFA decides that, we are going to go there," Guardiola said.

"I had a pleasure to go to Istanbul, because since my career as a football player with Barcelona, I never had the opportunity again to go there. Not even ever in the Champions League."

City midfielder Gundogan is a Germany international but his parents are Turkish, and he has strong affection for the country.

"For Gundogan, for Ilkay, I wanted to go there," Guardiola added. "Unfortunately, UEFA decided to go to Portugal. No problem."

Guardiola will hope Kevin De Bruyne is ready to play in the Champions League final, but the Belgian playmaker will miss Friday's Premier League game at Newcastle United due to a muscle injury.

"He is still injured but he's getting better," Guardiola said in a news conference on Thursday.

"When he is fit, he will come to training and the guys who are completely fit with 100 per cent mentally and physicality will have a chance to play in the final.

"Before that we have three games to get information about how the team is and the players to play in the last game of the season."

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