Ilkay Gundogan Profile
|Born||Oct 24, 1990|
Ilkay Gundogan is a key part of the Manchester City and German midfield. Despite struggling with injuries throughout his career, he has won major club trophies in both Germany and England
Ilkay Gundogan is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Manchester City and the German national team. Gundogan is of Turkish descent having been born to two Turkish parents, but was born in Germany.
Gundogan previously played for VfL Bochum, FC Nuremberg and Borussia Dortmund. It was during his spell at Dortmund that Gundogan first shot to fame due to his incredible performances under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp.
Gundogan won the 2011/12 Bundesliga title with Dortmund as well as the DFB Pokal that same season. In 2013, he won the DFL-Supercup and played in the final of the UEFA Champions League, which Dortmund lost 2-1 to Bayern Munich. He scored Dortmund's only goal - a penalty in the 69th minute.
Gundogan moved to Manchester City in 2016, where his career continued to grow under Pep Guardiola. He was part of the City side which strolled to the Premier League title in 2017/18 with a record 100 points. City also won the EFL Cup that season and defended both trophies in 2018/19, also adding the FA Cup. The following season, they won the League Cup once more.
Joining Borussia Dortmund
A product of the VfL Bochum academy, Gundogan faced his fair share of setbacks even before he graduated into senior football. Perhaps most notably, he was let go by FC Schalke 04 at the age of eight.
Gundogan reportedly suffered from growth problems as a youngster and had to take some time to resolve this.
However, after graduating from the youth system at VfL Bochum and impressing in his stint at FC Nuremberg, Gundogan earned his big move to Borussia Dortmund. He made his debut for BVB against rivals Schalke in July 2011 in the DFL-Supercup.
Not only did Gundogan make 28 Bundesliga appearances in Dortmund's second title-winning season on the trot in 2011/12, but he also played all of the DFB-Pokal final as Dortmund beat Bayern Munich 5-2 to claim the double.
Gundogan had a particularly impressive season for Dortmund in 2012/13, helping Dortmund to the final of the UEFA Champions League against Bayern Munich. Gundogan levelled the scores from the penalty spot in the 69th minute. However, Arjen Robben put Bayern into the lead in the 89th minute and ultimately sealed a 2-1.
In July 2013, Dortmund beat Bayern 4-2 in the DFL-Supercup and Gundogan scored in the match. However, Dortmund struggled to keep pace with a financially powerful Bayern over the next few years. Jurgen Klopp left the club in 2015 and Gundogan followed suit a year later, joining Manchester City ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Manchester City adventure
Gundogan signed for Manchester City for £20million, despite reportedly having attracted interest in the past from city rivals Manchester United in the past.
Gundogan's first season with Manchester City was difficult. He made his City debut in September in the UEFA Champions League against Borussia Monchengladbach. However, three months later, he was substituted in the 44th minute against Watford with knee ligament damage and was ruled out for the rest of the season.
Gundogan made his return in September 2017 in a 6-0 Premier League victory over Watford. Manchester City were beginning to establish themselves as the team to beat in the Premier League title race.
On 4 March 2018, Gundogan broke the record for most passes completed (167) and most attempted (174) in a Premier League match against Chelsea which ended in a 1-0 win for City.
After helping City to back-to-back Premier League titles, scoring four goals in 30 appearances in the 2017/18 campaign and six in 31 in the 2018/19 league season, Gundogan signed a new four-year contract with Manchester City in August 2019.
In 2020/21, Gundogan's goalscoring form improved significantly. He played a significant role in helping Manchester City cope with a long-term injury to star playmaker Kevin de Bruyne as Pep Guardiola's side dominated the Premier League once again and regained the title from Liverpool.
Gundogan won the Premier League Player of the Month award in January 2021 and then again in February of that year.
Gundogan was a youth international at various levels for Germany and earned his first senior national team call-up in August 2011 for a friendly against Brazil. However, he did not feature in the game itself.
He finally made his Germany debut in October 2011 when he came on in place of Philipp Lahm as a late substitute in a 3-1 UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying win over Belgium. Gundogan was part of the squad for that tournament, but did not feature.
Injury denied Gundogan the chance to feature in Germany's 2014 FIFA World Cup winning campaign. He featured at Euro 2016, but was injured again before Germany were eliminated from the tournament.
Gundogan was in Germany's 2018 World Cup squad, but the tournament was one to forget as the defending champions suffered a group stage exit in Russia.
At Euro 2020 a transitional Germany team failed to really impress, although Gundogan was still a vital part of their side.
The Man City star started their opening match against France, which they lost, and then he was exceptional in their 4-2 win over defending champions Portugal. A nervy 2-2 draw over Hungary secured Germany's progression into the knockout stage.
Gungogan's injury curse struck again then, though, with him forced to sit out their 2-0 defeat to England at Wembley.
Gundogan received criticism for meeting Turkish president President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoayan in London and referring to him as "my president" despite being a German citizen.
The fallout over this incident led to Gundogan's international teammate, Mesut Ozil, retiring from international football, as he was also targeted by supporters and the German football authorities for meeting Erdoayan.
Gundogan's cousin, Naz Aydemir, plays volleyball for Fenerbahce and the Turkish national team.
Gundogan reportedly earns a salary of £140,000 per week at Manchester City.