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Playing behind closed doors is weird: Pep Guardiola tells Virat Kohli

Playing behind closed doors is ‘weird’ and the games feel like more of a friendly match without fans, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola admitted during an Instagram live with India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday.

“Without people, it is not the same. It is like a friendly game, it is not the same. We have to do it because the show must go on. We want them to come back. It is a completely different game (without fans). You feel like bad moments are less bad moments and good moments are less good moments. Playing behind closed doors is weird,” Guardiola told Kohli during the instagram live organised by Puma India.

The coronavirus pandemic took a huge toll on sports across the globe. Although sports slowly returned to action, it resumed behind closed doors due to concerns regarding the spread of coronavirus.

Kohli also shared similar thoughts on the topic saying that he was so excited to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL) but the excitement levels dropped when he stepped out on the field due to the absence of fans in the stands.

“We came here and prepared for three weeks and I was so excited because it was the first game in six months. When I stepped out on the field, the excitement levels went down, it was nothing. All the excitement went away like that,” he said.

Manchester City have been very successful under Guardiola as he guided the club to several titles. The club won the Premier League title in the 2017/18 season after finishing the season with 100 points. Manchester City won the Premier League title in the next season as well before finishing second in the 2019-2020 season.

When asked how he keeps his hunger alive, Guardiola said it should come from players as without them, nothing can be achieved.

“The hunger should come from every single player… The past is the past and the challenges are new now. You have to move forward. But I can say ‘do it, do it’, but if every player does not feel the same way, the manager, at the end, can do nothing,” the manager said.

(with inputs from ANI)

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