Nathan Ake expressed his gratitude towards Pep Guardiola for the compassionate way the Manchester City manager handled the death of Ake’s father.
Ake‘s father passed away at the age of 63 after a 13-year battle with prostate cancer. The Dutch defender discovered the news during City’s 6-3 Champions League victory against RB Leipzig in September 2021, where he scored. Ake commended Guardiola for the emotional support provided during this difficult time.
While Pep Guardiola is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest managers in football history, criticisms suggest that he lacks emotional connections with his players, which could affect his man-management skills.
Despite these critiques, Nathan Ake, whose form notably improved after the passing of his father, credits Guardiola for playing a role in his positive development. The acknowledgment highlights the complexity of evaluating a manager’s interpersonal skills and their impact on players.
As reported by the Mirror, Ake said: “I’m grateful to Pep [Guardiola] for all he means to me on and off the pitch. When my father passed away, he was fantastic. If I needed things or wanted time off, I just had to tell him. He gave me all the time and space I needed.”
The signing of Josko Gvardiol has added competition for a starting spot in Manchester City’s defense, potentially altering Nathan Ake’s status as a guaranteed starter from the previous season. Despite this, Ake has committed to the club’s future by signing a new four-year contract, signaling his intent to remain at the Etihad Stadium for an extended period.