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Pep Guardiola jokes Ilkay Gundogan won't play again this season after wife complains about food in Manchester

Jack Kenmare

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Pep Guardiola jokes Ilkay Gundogan won't play again this season after wife complains about food in Manchester

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has joked that captain Ilkay Gundogan will not play another minute for the rest of the 2022/23 season following his wife's comments about food in Manchester.

Earlier this week, Gundogan's wife, Sara Arfaoui, sparked backlash when she was asked to name her favourite restaurant in the city.

“Sorry, I’m sad to be honest but nothing," Arfaoui said on social media. "I tried so bad to find a good restaurant but horrible food everywhere. Can’t find a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food... everywhere frozen.

She added: "Restaurants here are focused on making money with drinks and shots like night clubs - not quality food. Maybe in London but in Manchester, nothing. I’m sorry.”

Image credit: Instagram/sarabenamira
Image credit: Instagram/sarabenamira

The Italian model's comments on Manchester's restaurant scene were criticised by many, including food critic Jay Rayner and Simon Wood, who is head chef at one of the city's most popular eateries, Wood.

“I’m going to call out Sara Arfaoui on the fact she hasn’t been to every restaurant in Manchester," he said.

"I know for a fact she hasn’t been to mine. We do get frequented by some City players so they are obviously not chatting in the dressing room.

"She’s very welcome to come in and try us and if it’s not up to her standard she can come in the kitchen and show us how it’s done.”

Rayner, meanwhile, said her point of view was "ludicrous" before saying: "Manchester’s packed full of brilliant, independent restaurants.

"It’s an absolute gem of a place to eat and comments like this during difficult economic times are not helpful to businesses struggling to make ends meet.”

Arfaoui hit back at critics, saying: “So because we are successful people we can’t give an honest opinion? I tried all the best restaurants here but for me it’s a no. I can’t lie.

"Unfortunately I’m used to Italy so you can imagine it’s hard to compare,” she added: “It’s a great city, great people but not for restaurants.”

The 27-year-old's comments are still being discussed by sections of the media. In fact, a journalist at Pep Guardiola's recent press conference asked the Manchester City boss about the post that sparked so much controversy online.

Guardiola, who co-owns a Tapas restaurant in the city, didn't take the comments to heart.

"Gundo is not going to play one more minute for the rest of the season," he laughed. "I'm going to invite her and [Ilkay] Gundogan to TAST [the Tapas bar] and of course, they are going to eat properly."

You can watch that press conference moment below:

Manchester's restaurant scene was also criticised by Angel Di Maria's wife, Jorgelina Cardoso, who recently opened up on their nightmare year in the city which featured "disgusting" food, women that "look like porcelain" and "weird" people.

The Argentine forward signed for Manchester United from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014 for a then-British record £59.7 million and penned a five-year deal at Old Trafford.

Expectations were naturally high but things never worked out, despite a promising start. In fact, he was sold 11 months later as Louis van Gaal and United cut their losses with a £44 million sale to PSG.

Years later and Di Maria's wife, Cardoso, spoke about their time in Manchester during an interview with Argentinian TV show LAM via The Daily Mail – and she didn't hold back.

She began: "Angel came to me one day and said: 'Look at this proposal from Manchester United'. I didn't want to go, I told him to go alone. 'Let's go both of us', he replied. It was a lot of money, more than the Spaniards had offered.

"So, we went. If you work in a company and someone offers you double the salary, you go running.

"We were friends with Gianinna Maradona, Sergio Aguero's wife, and we travelled to Manchester on vacation for a year. It was always horrible! We came home and I said: 'If you're ever transferred, make sure it's anywhere in the world but England.'

Cardoso added: "'I didn't like it at all... I can tell you. People are all weird. You walk around and you don't know if they're going to kill you. The food is disgusting. The women look like porcelain. Angel and I were in Madrid, at the best team in the world, perfect food, perfect weather, everything was perfect. And then came United's proposal...

"I told him 'no way, no way', but he kept saying we will be a little more financially secure and we have to go.

"We fought about it. We try to be closer when things go wrong. I don't blame him for going there. It was horrible, so horrible. I just told him, 'Darling, I want to kill myself, it's nighttime at two o'clock.'"

Featured Image Credit: Football Daily/Instagram - @sarabenamira

Topics: Manchester City, Pep Guardiola, Ilkay Gundogan, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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