Pep Guardiola and Thomas Tuchel will get reacquainted on Tuesday in a titanic duel of on-field quality as Manchester City host Bayern Munich in the Champions League – and the players boast the talent on their arms to match.
It's to be expected the winner of this quarter-final clash will go on to contest this season's continental crown, with bigger nights to come for one set of wives and girlfriends. And those partners are a parade of power in their own right, with some keeping homesteads afloat, while others are stars in their own sports.
The next two legs will decide whether it's the Citizens' spouses or the babes of Bavaria who book a place in the Champions League's last four. And Daily Star Sport has broken down a host of those linked with the current crop of stars who may be sat pitchside at the Etihad on Tuesday.
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1. Taylor Ward
Riyad Mahrez's love life has been the source of controversy in the past given he left ex-wife and mother of two of his daughters, Rita Johal, to start a romance with Taylor Ward. The split made headlines given Johal was at the Algerian's side throughout his rise to Premier League fame with Leicester City, but he and Ward at least appear content as an item almost two years on.
Model Ward is the daughter of Dawn and Ashley – the latter of whom came through City's academy in the late '80s – and has made the odd appearance on 'The Real Housewives of Cheshire' thanks to that link. It was less than a year into their relationship that Taylor and Mahrez announced their engagement (complete with £400,000 ring) in June 2021, welcoming a daughter into their family just over a year later.
2. Lisa Muller
Who's your favourite power couple from the Man City and Bayern ranks? Let us know in the comments section.
One of the steadiest relationships in either camp typically belongs to Thomas Muller, who is about as reliable as it comes among Europe's elite. The Bayern forward has long reigned as one of the centrepieces in Die Roten's attack, and it's possible a firm 17-year relationship with dressage rider Lisa may be partly to thank.
Muller's success in football has helped his partner – maiden name Lisa Trede – gain enough freedom to go about her work in the equestrian world to great success. A semi-professional athlete in her own right, there will be high athletic expectations for any children the Mullers might produce in future.
3. Sara Gundogan
One who knows all too well what it is to face Bayern under extreme pressure, former Borussia Dortmund playmaker Ilkay Gundogan has exceeded all expectations during his seven years in Manchester. And it was during his stay at the Etihad that the Germany international met television presenter Sara Arfaoui in early 2021.
The pair moved at pace in their whirlwind romance and were married after only a little more than one year of dating. Sara then announced her pregnancy with their first child in November 2022, with a new member of the Gundogan gang expected to arrive in the summer this year.
4. Candice Brook
Consistency has been hard to come by for Leroy Sane in recent years, coming in and out of Guardiola's plans at the Etihad before jetting back to Germany with Bayern in 2020. And his romantic life with wife Candice Brook has unfortunately been affected further by those disruptions, with the Daily Mail reporting in March that the model and singer had moved back to London after struggling to settle in Munich.
The pair has been linked as far back as 2019 and share a daughter, Rio Stella, who was born in late 2018. Little is known about Brook beyond her past work as a model and talents as an R&B singer, but she's one of the few people on the planet able to keep wily winger Sane under wraps.
5. Ines Tomaz
The first Covid-19 lockdown wasn't a happy period for a lot of people, though Bernardo Silva and Ines Tomaz will always remember that as the period when their romance first got rolling. And the Portuguese pair made things official after two years of dating, with Tomaz accepting her playmaker's proposal in May 2022.
A fashion and bikini model by trade, Tomaz was no stranger to the limelight and being the centre of attention even prior to hooking up with City star Silva. The 24-year-old is clearly proud as punch with her relationship, however, sharing frequent social media updates pictured alongside her beau.
6. Annekee Molenaar
Mathijs de Ligt recently showcased skills the world never knew he had with a belting 35-yard finish against Freiburg, but the Dutchman's scoring prowess doesn't stop there. That's thanks to his five-year relationship with Dutch model Annekee Molenaar, who holds something of a reputation of her own in her native Netherlands.
The 23-year-old boasts 442,000 Instagram followers and regularly updates her subscribers on fashion and general life updates, as well as posting videos of herself doing a spot of yoga. Moves to Turin and Munich don't appear to have had any negative impact on the pair, who are still going strong despite De Ligt's troubles here and there.
7. Michele La Croix
There's arguably no piece of City's puzzle as valuable as vice-captain Kevin De Bruyne, with the Belgian excelling in all areas as Guardiola's midfield gem. But the old adage goes that behind every great man is a great woman, and Michele Le Croix is that figure in the 31-year-old's case.
De Bruyne's romantic life has been the subject of intrigue in the past given Belgium goalkeeper and team-mate Thibaut Courtois once stole the puppeteer's girlfriend. Thankfully, De Bruyne found new love with his wife of almost six years, La Croix, with whom he shares three children.
8. Daniela Machado
A new addition at the Allianz Arena in January, Joao Cancelo uprooted his life in Manchester and will be in the squad to face his parent club after allegedly falling out with Guardiola. Stunning partner Daniela Machado made the move to Munich with her man, though the pair might be back in England when his loan spell ends.
A social media influencer and homemaker by trade, it's understood Machado has been with Cancelo since his days as a teenager in the Benfica academy. Sticking with him through thick and thin since then, the pair have thrived in Portugal, Spain, Italy and England before coming to the Bundesliga this past winter.
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