'To all our fans and families around the world, but especially in India, we know these are really tough times and we are fighting for you on the pitch and thinking for all of you.'
English Premier League side Manchester City's revered manager Pep Guardiola on Saturday sent an emotional message for Indians, saying his team was playing for them on the pitch and urged them to stay strong in their fight against COVID-19.
Guardiola, one of the most respected managers in modern football, urged India to stay safe by adhering to health protocols to defeat the dreaded virus.
India is currently battling a devastating second wave of COVID-19 pandemic with more than 3 lakh new cases and above 3000 deaths daily.
"Pep has sent a message for fans, friends and families in India at this difficult time ... Stay safe," the club said on Instagram, ahead of their EPL match against Chelsea.
"To all our fans and families around the world, but especially in India, we know these are really tough times and we are fighting for you on the pitch and thinking for all of you," the 50-year-old Guardiola said in the video posted on Instagram.
"On behalf of Team Manchester City and the whole organisation, we wish and pray that you follow all the guidelines to stay safe and look after yourself."
"We can defeat the virus by working together. And hope we can continue to bring smiles to your faces by playing the best football possible. Keep the faith and stay safe please," he added.
A former Spain international, Guardiola has won two Champions League titles as Barcelona FC manager. He has guided Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester City to their respective domestic titles in his illustrious career as coach.