In a recent interview, Ilkay Gundogan has spoken about his presentation as a Barcelona player, his experiences with Pep Guardiola and his objectives for the season ahead, among many other things.
“I would say it was more or less what I expected. It was very exciting. It’s my first time here in training camp. To be on the pitch, to be in full kit, to be with my family, to see the facilities, it’s a very exciting day and I’m very happy,” Gundogan said when asked about his presentation.
Gundogan also shed light on the timing of his decision to join Barcelona. “Well, the decision was probably 100% made after the Champions League final. Once the game is over, once we win it, you naturally start thinking about your future and making a decision,” he said.
Gundogan is excited to play with his new set of teammates as well, adding, “I couldn’t wait to meet my teammates, some of whom I already knew like Ter Stegen from the national team, Lewandowski from my time at Borussia Dortmund, Garcia and Ferran Torres from Manchester City.”
Looking ahead to his new teammates at Barcelona, Gundogan expressed enthusiasm for young talents in the midfield: “I think each and every one of them has really done incredible things. So yeah, I think it’s very important for the team that the players and especially the midfielders find good contact and a good balance between them.”
Having won almost everything during his time at Manchester City, the former Borussia Dortmund star said he is looking forward to clinching more titles with his new club.
“Well, both. The league is a daily competition. Of course, I want more. The best thing is to repeat what happened last year in the league and do better in the Champions League,” he said.
The German international talked about his experience under Pep Guardiola as well. “We never talked about this. He always talks about Barcelona but not only with me but with everyone, with the press, with the best words that can be used to describe this place,” he said.
The midfielder also talked about Sergio Busquets, whose departure this summer played a key role in forcing Barcelona to make a move for the German.
Gundogan praised the veteran midfielder, adding, “I think Sergio Busquets has been a great figure in recent years. In my opinion, he was one of the main reasons for the success of this team in the past. Barcelona will not only lose a great player but also a great personality.”
Finally, Gundogan reflected on his changing role as a midfielder, adding, “It’s strange because even in the past I used to change from time to time. Specifically, in the past two years I have played in a more attacking role, getting close to the opponent’s penalty area, creating play, scoring goals, which is a lot of fun.”
Barcelona are indeed likely to employ Gundogan as an interior midfielder, which was a driving factor in convincing them to also bring in Oriol Romeu this summer.
Source: Barcelona Official Website