Earlier this week, Gundogan’s wife Sarah Arfaoui sparked a backlash when asked to name her favorite restaurant in the city.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry to be honest, but nothing,” Arfaoui said on social media. “I tried really hard to find a good restaurant but horrible food everywhere. You can’t find a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food…everywhere frozen.
He added: “Restaurants here focus on making money with drinks and shots like nightclubs – not quality food. Maybe in London but in Manchester, nothing. I’m sorry.”
The Italian model’s comments on Manchester’s restaurant scene were criticized by many, including food critic Jay Rayner and Simon Wood, who is head chef at one of the city’s most popular restaurants, Wood.
“I’m going to shout out Sara Arfaoui for not being in all the restaurants in Manchester,” he said.
“I know he hasn’t been to mine. Some City players frequent us, so obviously they don’t chat in the dressing room.
“She’s very welcome to come and try us out and if she’s not up to it, she can come into the kitchen and show us how it’s done.”
Rayner, meanwhile, said her opinion was “ridiculous” before saying: “Manchester is full of great, independent restaurants.
“It’s an absolute gem of a place to eat and comments like this in tough economic times don’t help businesses struggling to get by.”
Arfawi hit back at critics, saying: “Because we are successful people, can’t we give an honest opinion? I’ve tried all the best restaurants here, but for me it’s a no. I can’t lie.
“Unfortunately I’m used to Italy so you can imagine it’s hard to compare,” he added: “It’s a great city, great people, but not for restaurants.”
The 27-year-old’s comments are still being discussed by sections of the media. In fact, a reporter at Pep Guardiola’s recent press conference asked the Manchester City boss about the post that sparked so much controversy online.
Guardiola, who co-owns a tapas restaurant in the city, played down the comments.
“Gudo is not going to play another minute for the rest of the season,” he laughed. “I’m going to invite her too [Ilkay] Gundogan at TAST [the Tapas bar] and of course they will eat properly.”
You can watch the moment of the press conference below:
🗣 “Gudo is not going to play another minute for the rest of the season.” 🤣
Pep Guardiola’s response to Ilkay Gundogan’s wife complaining about food in Manchester when she owns a restaurant in the city pic.twitter.com/n1aBcGTPSg
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) October 7, 2022
Manchester’s restaurant scene was also criticized by Angel Di Maria’s wife Georgina Cardoso, who recently opened up about their nightmarish year in the city featuring “disgusting” food, women who “look like porcelain” and “strange” people.
The Argentinian forward signed for Manchester United from Real Madrid in the summer of 2014 for a then British record fee of £59.7m and penned a five-year deal at Old Trafford.
Expectations were naturally high, but things never worked out, despite a promising start. In fact, he was sold 11 months later as Louis van Gaal and United cut their losses with a £44m sale to PSG.
Years later Di Maria’s wife Cardoso also opened up about their time in Manchester during an interview with Argentinian TV show LAM via the Daily Mail – and she didn’t hold back.
He began: “The Angel came to me one day and said: ‘Look at this offer from Manchester United’. I didn’t want to go, I told him to go alone. “We both go”, he replied. it was a lot of money, more than the Spaniards had offered.
“So here we go, if you work for a company and someone offers you double your salary, you run.
“We were friends with Gianinna Maradona, Sergio Aguero’s wife, and we traveled to Manchester on holiday for a year. It was always horrible! We came home and I said: ‘If you ever get transferred, make sure it’s anywhere in the world. but England.”
Cardoso added: “I didn’t like it at all… I can tell you. People are all weird. You walk around and you don’t know if they’re going to kill you. The food is disgusting. The women look like porcelain. Angel and I were in Madrid , in the best team in the world, perfect food, perfect weather, everything was perfect. And then came the offer from United…
“I told him ‘no way, no way’, but he kept saying we’d be a bit more financially secure and we should go.
“We argued about it. We try to be closer when things go wrong. I don’t blame him for going there. It was horrible, so horrible. I just said, ‘Honey, I want to kill myself, it’s two o’clock in the morning.’ “