Kyle Walker praises Pep Guardiola for €1m donation: 'That says a lot about him as a person'

Spain has been hit especially hard by Covid-19, and the City manager donated generously to the Barcelona Medical College last week

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Kyle Walker praised Pep Guardiola for his €1 million donation to the fight against coronavirus and said it revealed much about the Manchester City manager as a person.

Guardiola's native Spain has been hit especially hard by Covid-19, with more than 9,000 people dying, and he gave €1m (Dh4m) to the Barcelona Medical College last week.

And the City right-back thanked his manager and believes he should be applauded for his generosity.

“I dropped him a text message last night saying: ‘Hope you are OK, and I hope the family is well and fair play for donating the amount of money that you have donated,’" Walker said. "That says a lot about him as a person. Put football aside, that has come from his heart and it is something that should definitely be recognised.”

Walker has said his three young sons are taking the place of his City teammates as his training partners as he tries to get his football fix while isolated because of coronavirus.

The England defender is the father of Roman, Riaan and Reign, but is encountering problems he does not normally face with the 2019 treble winners as he keeps having to retrieve mishit footballs from neighbours’ gardens.

Walker, who was due to face Liverpool on Sunday before fixtures were suspended, is glad that social media apps are allowing him to stay in touch with the rest of the City squad after they have been separated, but is finding it strange without football.

“It is something I have done since I was six when I first joined Sheffield United. It is in my blood,” he said. “Luckily for me, I have got three boys that I can kick around with at home. I hope, and I am sure everybody else hopes, that football will come back and we will be able to finish off the season.”


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Walker has a pitch at home, but his son Riaan is discovering the problems of it. “It is astro which the middle one is finding out now as is he diving all over the place and getting burns everywhere,” the former Tottenham player said. “He is learning the hard way. I have to say, ‘stop doing that, you don’t need to dive on here.’ He wants to dive so you kind of let him off.

“A lot of balls are going into the neighbours’ garden I can assure you of that. It is good fun and it passes a few hours. I am kind of reliving my youth a little bit like when I was on the estate where you just had to fill your time.”

Walker said he has had some comparable situations when preparing for major tournaments for England but has found it different when he cannot visit teammates in person.

“As a footballer, before going into tournaments, the Euros or the World Cup, you are kind of in isolation there," he said. "Obviously, you have the comforts which we still have at home, but there you can go to other people’s rooms and have a little bit of banter. That is the only thing I am missing, the banter.

“We have jumped on HouseParty a few times and kind of got the banter going. You have got the group chat that is always going off on some sort of madness. I think it is about mainly keeping the brain active. It is important that you have a laugh with your mates and obviously we are in isolation but we are still lucky enough to have the internet.”

He texted Guardiola in part because “obviously Pep is not in the group chat!”