Sara Gundogan has opened up on the sacrifices she has made since becoming a WAG and the impact this has had on her life.
Gundogan, previously Sara Arfaoui, started dating Barcelona and Germany star Ilkay Gundogan in 2021 before they tied the knot a year later. They have one son together, Kais, who was born in March 2023.
She is one of the stars of Prime Video’s new series Married To The Game which follows the lives of five football WAGS, aiming to give an insight into the reality of dating a top-level footballer.
Sara was a highly-successful TV presenter and model before meeting Ilkay, while she also featured in several films and was a reality TV star.
However, since marrying Ilkay and originally moving to Manchester, before relocating again this summer, Sara’s career has had to take a back-seat and the 28-year-old opened up on the challenges she has faced.
Sara Gundogan has opened up on the sacrifices she has made since becoming a WAG
Sara married Barcelona and Germany star Ilkay Gundogan in 2022. They began dating in 2021
The couple – who live in Barcelona – have one son together, Kais, who was born in March 2023
‘As a wife sometimes you are on the side,’ she exclusively told Mail Sport. ‘But it was hard because despite my work as a TV presenter, the fact I speak six languages and travelled the world as a model, when I was him, everything I did, suddenly it became zero and I just became his wife.
‘The people knew me before as a media star but when I became a wife, there is the tendency of the press to show wives of players in a certain way and it’s like we have to fit this cliche.
‘I lost a bit my spontaneity, my way of speaking without thinking. So yeah, it’s a bit hard, because you have to also rebuild yourself and find your own identity.
‘It’s kind of sad because there is no other sport, there is nothing similar, say in cinema or politics, that will describe a wife of an important politician that way.’
Sara went onto explain how she has had to turn down several career opportunities back in Italy since her son was born, reflecting on the balancing act of prioritising herself, while also supporting her family.
Gundogan previously had a highly-successful career in TV back in Italy, where she grew up
Sara also worked as a model, but revealed how these achievements became ‘zero’ when she married Ilkay, with the 28-year-old subsequently just known as the football star’s wife
Your browser does not support iframes.
And she insisted that despite the outside perception, being a WAG is not always as rosy at it seems.
‘It’s tough (to balance everything), because I have given up so much. The hard part is always people tend to imagine we have everything because we are with this successful man.
‘But a successful man has his own career. He is successful. It doesn’t bring success to you. Looking at yourself in the mirror and feeling like I’m doing something is a much nicer feeling than just having a lifestyle because of someone else.
‘Doing things by yourself and being successful is more important than having material things. It’s important to be proud of myself and you cannot be proud of yourself when you’re not doing work.’
She continued: ‘It felt like when I was in Manchester, my whole life was around football.
‘Because my friends were from football, the people I’ve met through my husband, and then I didn’t have anything that was just my world outside of that.
‘I spent my life last year working on my English which is important and then now I live in Spain and you have to rebuild everything again.
‘This is the difficult part that every year you’re somewhere else and everything you build, you have to do it again and again.’
Sara is now slowly returning to her previous career after dealing with the tough adaptation to WAG life.
Sara outlined her pride at Ilkay’s achievements but insisted she wanted to make herself proud
And, while she admits patience will be required, the 28-year-old is enjoying putting herself out there again.
She added: ‘It’s different, because when you’ve been out of this world, for a bit of time, you have to kind of start again which is not easy.
‘(The filming) was a really nice experience, because I had the chance to show a bit of who I am, not only what people read about me.
‘It was an opportunity to show a bit of my personality.’