- Sara Gundogan stars in Prime Video’s new docuseries ‘Married To The Game’
- She has opened up on Ilkay Gundogan’s move from Man City to Barcelona
- Is it ever OK to leave a game early? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off podcast
Sara Gundogan has revealed she was caught by surprise when she found out Ilkay Gundogan was joining Barcelona last summer.
Sara, previously Sara Arfaoui, started dating the Barcelona and Germany star in 2021 before they tied the knot a year later. They have one son together, Kais, who was born in March 2023.
Sara is one of the stars of Prime Video’s new series Married To The Game which follows the lives of five football WAGS, aiming to give in an insight into the reality of dating a top-level footballer.
Ilkay moved to the Catalan giants upon the expiry of his contract with Man City after they fought off competition from several clubs, including City’s attempts to retain the 33-year-old.
And Sara – who was a highly-successful TV presenter and model before meeting Ilkay – explained how she wasn’t expecting the midfielder to make the choice and revealed she was on holiday when discovering the news.
Sara Gundogan revealed she was left shocked when she found out Ilkay was joining Barcelona
Sara revealed she was on holiday when discovering the news after not believing the rumours
Ilkay joined the Catalan giants after a hugely decorated seven-year spell with Man City
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‘I didn’t really believe those (rumours about joining Barcelona),’ she exclusively told Mail Sport. ‘Every summer and January, in every transfer market people would always come to me with rumours.
‘Some people even used to text me to say “you’re coming to Italy?” and I was never taking anything seriously.
‘I had friends texting me saying I was coming back, and I was like, “no”. It just happened. And the funny fact is that I didn’t take it seriously.
‘I was like, no it cannot be because my husband is many years here in Manchester and I don’t see this happening.
She continued: ‘I was in Italy, it was holiday time. It was my first holiday with my baby and I went to meet all my friends. So I was a bit in my bubble, let’s say baby bubble.
‘And I just got a phone call and it was like “we are going there”. I wasn’t taking it seriously. I don’t know if it was a shock. So it took me a bit of time to realise what was happening.’
Sara went onto explain that despite her surprise at the move, she did give Ilkay some advice when weighing up various options, while she also expressed her pride at his bravery.
She added: ‘Every players calls Barcelona their dream team from when they were a child. So, when I was asked, I wasn’t asked any technical things.
‘And I always say follow your dreams. I cannot advise in a different way anyway.
‘I’m really proud of my husband because it is not easy at his age to think I want a new challenge when you’re comfortable and the captain of another team.
‘Being so successful at City too then wanting a new challenge is always a risk.
‘So I’m really proud that he took risk and for him it was a childhood dream to play for Barcelona.’
Sara revealed she told her husband to follow his dreams when asked for advice on the move
She also explained how life is different in Barcelona, but that they are enjoying living by the sea
Sara also revealed that her, Ilkay and son Kais are about to move into their fifth place since moving to Spain as they attempt to find a permanent spot.
And, while they are still adapting to life in the city and do miss Manchester, she is also enjoying a new lifestyle.
‘It’s different,’ she said. ‘The city is really nice and it’s right by the sea. So it’s another lifestyle. I feel as if it’s more a holiday.
‘It’s not like the life we used to have before because it’s a really touristy place with a lot of people.
‘We still haven’t found a place that we can call home but of course, it takes time.’