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Man City's Gundogan reveals Premier League defender who pinches players when referees aren't looking

20:53 GMT 02/03/2022
Ilkay Gundogan Man City 2021-22
The midfielder holds the utmost respect for an Everton centre-back - even if his tactics are unusual

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has revealed that one of the toughest defenders he has faced uses the unusual approach of pinching opponents in the back when referees aren't looking.

Gundogan has said Everton's Yerry Mina is one of his most difficult match-ups, and he respects the centre-back.

Mina is a notorious figure in South America for his antics, even getting into a spat with Lionel Messi in last summer's Copa America.

What has been said?

“I also remember Yerry Mina from Everton," Gundogan told Bild. “A tough Colombian centre-back. He’ll use his hands in a tackle, scratch or pinch your back when the referee isn’t looking. I’ve seen him do that once or twice.

“But not so much in a dirty way. He even smiles in your face in a friendly way, which makes him sympathetic in a funny way. I didn’t know how to pinch the back before.”

The bigger picture

Mina is a surprising choice by Gundogan to be considered one of his toughest opponents, as the defender is not even a full-time starter at Everton in part because of injuries.

Indeed, Mina is currently out with a quadriceps problem.

The 27-year-old has made 10 appearances this campaign after appearing 24 times for the Toffees last term.

Before Everton, he played for Barcelona, Palmeiras and Santa Fe.

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