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Nathan Ake’s heartbreaking tribute as dad dies minutes after first Champions League goal

The Dutch central defender opened the scoring for Pep Guardiola’s side in their pulsating nine-goal thriller against RB Leipzig on Wednesday night and he has dedicated the goal to his late father

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Pep Guardiola reflects after Manchester City’s 6-3 win against Leipzig

Manchester City Nathan Ake has posted a heartbreaking tribute to his father whom he revealed passed away moments after the defender’s Champions League goal.

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The Dutch defender opened the scoring in City’s thrilling 6-3 win over RB Leipzig in their opening Champions League group stage encounter on Wednesday night.

Ake powered home a header on a rare start for Pep Guardiola’s side on a busy night, in which his side shipped three goals but ran out comfortable winners against the Bundesliga outfit.

The 26-year-old has since posted an emotional update on his social media account stating “this one was for you dad” as he revealed his father passed away during the match.

Nathan Ake opened the scoring for Man City against RB Leipzig


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Manchester City FC via Getty Ima)

The defender had recently withdrawn from the Netherlands squad for the recent World Cup Qualifier against Turkey with it understood that this was due to his father being terminally ill.

The former Chelsea and Bournemouth defender left the squad for personal reasons after being an unused substitute for both the draw against Norway and victory over Montenegro for Louis van Gaal’s side.

Wednesday night’s goal was Ake’s first in the competition and just his second for City, whom he joined from the Cherries in a deal in the region of £40million last year.

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Ake wrote on his Instagram account: “The past few weeks have been the toughest of my life, my dad has been very ill and there was no more treatment possible. I was lucky to have a lot of support from my fiance, family and friends.

“Yesterday after a difficult time I scored my first Champions League goal, and only a few minutes after he passed away peacefully with my mum and brother by his side.

“Maybe it was meant to be, watching me play always made him proud and happy. I know you’re always with me, you will always be in my heart and this one was for you dad.”

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It was Ake’s second start of the season for Guardiola’s side, having also been included in the starting line-up for the opening day of the campaign – a 1-0 loss at Tottenham, and the Community Shield defeat against Leicester.

The Dutchman has become the fourth-choice central defender at the Premier League champions with the regular duo of Ruben Dias and John Stones keeping him out of the side, along with Aymeric Laporte.

Ake made just 10 Premier League appearances for Guardiola’s side last campaign – nine of which were from the start – while his two Champions League appearances that season came in home group stage wins over Olympiakos and Marseille respectively.

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