Ilkay Gundogan: “I didn’t know football before I met Pep”

Attacking midfielder Ilkay Gundogan left Manchester City and moved to FC Barcelona.

He confessed that he “didn’t know about football” before meeting Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola on their pre-season US tour. It was through an interview with ESPN in the US.

The German-born Gundogan moved to Barcelona this month after spending seven seasons at Manchester City. He has experienced many victories at Man City, including five English Premier Leagues, two FA Cups, four League Cups and one Champions League. In particular, in the 2022-2023 season, he contributed to Man City’s treble achievement as a captain.

“Before I joined Manchester City, I thought I knew football. I was 25 or 26, and I saw a lot. He played in the Champions League final. But, standing here after seven years at Pep’s school, I want to say that I knew nothing about football. The impact he had on the team and on me personally has been enormous.”

Gundogan praised Barça coach Xabi Hernández as “amazing” and that Barça had “tremendous potential”.

He continued, “I liked Barca from a young age. He’s with players like Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta and Xavi… . He always told himself that when the opportunity came one day, he didn’t want to miss it.”

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