"Playing behind closed doors is weird," Pep Guardiola says to Virat Kohli

Guardiola asked Kohli to teach him cricket when he next visits India.

Pep Guardiola and Virat Kohli | Instagram

Puma India organized a star-studded Instagram Live session on Wednesday (October 14) featuring Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Indian Cricket Team Captain Virat Kohli, India Football team captain Sunil Chhetri, and Olympic medalist boxer Mary Kom.

The live session was hosted by Kohli – who is currently in the UAE captaining Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the ongoing IPL 2020 as the sporting stars discussing various topics including the games being played amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

During the conversation, Guardiola admitted that playing behind closed doors is “weird” and the games feel like more of a friendly match without fans, as the hosts Kohli asked the manager whether it is easy to manage the team in behind the closed doors matches as there is no crowd noise due to pandemic.

Guardiola told Kohli: “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 fewer good moments. Playing behind closed doors is weird.”

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Meanwhile, Kohli also shared his opinion on the same, saying he was so excited to play in the ongoing IPL 2020 but the excitement levels dropped when he stepped out on the field because of the absence of the fans at the stadiums in a wake of Coronavirus outbreak.

The RCB skipper further added, “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.”

Guardiola – who hails from Catalonia in Spain, did not get to witness much of cricket during his childhood as well as his playing days so he doesn’t understand cricket much but ever since moving to England in 2016 as the Man City manager, he follows one of the most popular sports in the UK.

He further added, “I come from Catalunya where cricket is not there but here in England it is an important sport. I try to follow it through the TV sometimes or I have some friends who play. Because you can play three days in a row and still it's a draw, I can't understand it.”

Guardiola also asked Kohli to teach him the rules of the cricket when he visits India as he could travel the country soon after Man City owners, the City Football Group, added ISL side Mumbai City to their growing list of clubs under their portfolio.

He concluded, “I have never visited India so when this pandemic situation finishes maybe I can go there. And maybe if we are together you can explain to me the rules of cricket. Oh my God, it is the most difficult complicated game. It must be an attractive sport in some way but you need to understand it. Next time we have to watch a football and cricket game together. I want to learn your game and promise me it's going to happen.”

(With ANI Inputs)


By Rashmi Nanda - 15 Oct, 2020

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