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27th Dec 2016

Alexis Sánchez embarrassed not to know who İlkay Gündoğan is

Hey, no biggie, he's only a German international.

Tom Victor

This month has been all about utterly bizarre tributes to players who would probably be okay without them.

This weekend saw Leicester City show solidarity to suspended striker Jamie Vardy with thousands of Jamie Vardy masks, leading to the bizarre scenario of a man putting on a mask with his own face on it.

But one week earlier, we were treated to the arguably stranger scenario of Manchester City’s entire first team lining up in the tunnel with shirts bearing the name and number of German midfielder İlkay Gündoğan.

Gündoğan wasn’t dead, and he wasn’t ill – he was just injured. Sure, it might not be quite as misguided as the decision for Liverpool players to warm up in Luis Suárez T-shirts after his racism charge in 2011, but it is still tough to work out who thought it was a good idea.

But perhaps it was an attempt to raise awareness of Gündoğan’s existence among those unaware of the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder.

You know, people like Arsenal and Chile forward Alexis Sánchez.

In this footage from Chilean broadcaster 24 Horas, Alexis is spotted chatting with compatriot Claudio Bravo in the tunnel, asking “Who is number 8? Is he young?”

After being informed that the tribute he thought was for a child is actually for a 26-year-old German international who has scored in a Champions League final, Alexis laughs it off and says “I don’t know anything”.

In fairness, he does know that launching that kind of tribute for an injured teammate is a little out of the ordinary.