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İlkay Gündoğan
20180602 FIFA Friendly Match Austria vs. Germany İlkay Gündoğan 850 0728.jpg
Gündoğan lining up for Germany in 2018
Personal information
Date of birth (1990-10-24) 24 October 1990 (age 33)
Place of birth Gelsenkirchen, Germany
Height 1.80 m
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Barcelona
Number 22
Youth career
1994–1998 SV Gelsenkirchen-Hessler 06
1998–1999 Schalke 04
1999–2004 SV Gelsenkirchen-Hessler 06
2004–2005 SSV Buer
2005–2008 VfL Bochum
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2009 VfL Bochum II 2 (1)
2009–2011 1. FC Nürnberg 48 (6)
2011–2016 Borussia Dortmund 105 (10)
2012 Borussia Dortmund II 1 (0)
2016–2023 Manchester City 188 (44)
2023– Barcelona 16 (2)
National team
2008 Germany U18 7 (0)
2008–2009 Germany U19 6 (0)
2009–2010 Germany U20 2 (0)
2010–2012 Germany U21 8 (1)
2011– Germany 73 (18)
  • Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:45, 10 December 2023 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 21:45, 21 November 2023 (UTC)

İlkay Gündoğan (born 24 October 1990) is a German professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for La Liga club Barcelona and captains the Germany national team.

Gündoğan joined 1. FC Nürnberg in 2009 before signing for Borussia Dortmund in 2011, winning the 2011–12 Bundesliga and 2011–12 DFB-Pokal in his first season with the latter. He helped Dortmund reach the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, in which they lost to Bayern Munich. After playing 157 matches for the club, Gündoğan signed for Manchester City in 2016, where he would go on to win five Premier League titles, four EFL Cups, two FA Cups, and the Champions League. This included a continental treble in the 2022–23 season, his final with the club, for which he served as club captain. Gündoğan joined Barcelona in 2023.

Gündoğan made his senior debut for Germany in 2011, after previously being capped by the under-18, under-19, under-20, and under-21 teams. He was in Germany's squads for the UEFA European Championship in 2012 and 2020, and the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and 2022.

Early life

İlkay Gündoğan was born on 24 October 1990 in Gelsenkirchen, North Rhine-Westphalia, to Turkish parents. His grandfather on his father's side was a guest worker who moved from Balıkesir, Turkey, to the Ruhr region of Germany to work as a miner. Meanwhile, his wife stayed in Turkey with their children where they grew up and went to school.

Club career

Early career

Ilkay Gündogan 2010
Gündoğan with 1. FC Nürnberg in 2010

Having grown up in Gelsenkirchen, Gündoğan's boyhood affiliaton was with Schalke 04, with which he had a brief spell as an eight-year old before being forced to take a break from the sport altogether because of growth problems. He subsequently confessed that this was one of the worst disappointments in his life, one which led him to reject Schalke when the club offered to sign him up again when he was 13-years old, fearing he would be somehow disappointed again.

Gündoğan eventually came through VfL Bochum's youth academy. In 2008, he began playing for the club's reserve team before signing for 2. Bundesliga club 1. FC Nürnberg in 2009. In his fourth Bundesliga match, on 19 September 2009, away against Bayern Munich, he made his first assist. His first goal for Nürnberg came on 20 February 2010 in a home match against Bayern Munich.

Borussia Dortmund

2011–2013: Domestic double and UEFA Champions League final

Ilkay Gündogan (16391883485)
Gündoğan playing for Borussia Dortmund in 2015

On 5 May 2011, Gündoğan signed a four-year contract with another Bundesliga club, Borussia Dortmund. He made his debut on 23 July in the 2011 DFL-Supercup against Schalke. After a 0–0 draw at Arena AufSchalke, he scored Dortmund's first attempt in the penalty shoot-out, which they went on to lose 4–3. On 17 December, he scored his first goal for Dortmund in a 4–1 victory away to SC Freiburg. He played once for the club's reserves on 22 February 2012, being replaced at half time by Rico Benatelli in an eventual 2–1 win over 1. FC Kaiserslautern II at the Stadion Rote Erde. On 20 March, Gündoğan scored a 120th-minute goal which saw Dortmund defeat Greuther Fürth and progress to the 2012 DFB-Pokal final. He played the entire final on 12 May, a 5–2 victory over Bayern Munich that gave Dortmund their first domestic double.

In the 2012–13 season, Gündoğan was one of the central figures of Borussia Dortmund as they reached the 2013 UEFA Champions League final. He was praised for his play in the two semi-final matches against Real Madrid. On 25 May 2013, he scored the equaliser from the penalty spot in the 69th minute to keep Dortmund's hopes alive against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final played at Wembley Stadium in London. This was his first regular-time penalty kick in a game for Dortmund. Bayern Munich went on to win 2–1.

2013–2016: Contract extensions and DFB-Pokal final

Gündoğan scored in the 2013 DFL-Supercup on 27 July as Dortmund won 4–2 against rivals Bayern Munich. In August, a back injury picked up while on international duty ruled him out for a full year. Gündoğan signed a new contract with Dortmund in April 2014, to keep him at the club until 2016.

Gündoğan scored in the penalty-shootout victory over Bayern Munich on 28 April 2015, which sent Dortmund to the 2015 DFB-Pokal final. Two days later, it was announced he and Dortmund would not be renewing their contract after its expiration on 30 June 2015. However, on 1 July 2015, Gündoğan signed a contract extension to keep him at Dortmund until June 2017.

Manchester City

2016–2017: First season and long-term injury

On 2 June 2016, Gündoğan signed for Premier League club Manchester City on a four-year contract, for an estimated transfer fee of £20 million. He was the club's first signing under former Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola. Gündoğan made his debut on 14 September, playing for the first time in four months in a 2016–17 Champions League group stage game at home to Borussia Mönchengladbach. City won 4–0; Gündoğan won a penalty that was converted by Sergio Agüero. Three days later, Gündoğan started in the squad and scored with a low, right-footed shot against AFC Bournemouth in a 4–0 home win. He scored a brace and set up Agüero's goal against West Bromwich Albion in a 4–0 win at The Hawthorns on 29 October 2016. He continued his run of form by scoring twice against Barcelona in a 3–1 win at home in the group stages of the Champions League.

On 14 December, in a 2016–17 Premier League game against Watford, Gündoğan was substituted in the 44th minute with knee ligament damage. Guardiola stated the player would be out injured for "several months." It was later confirmed Gündoğan tore his cruciate ligament in the right knee and would miss the remainder of the season.

2017–2022: Consecutive Premier League titles

2021-12-07 Fußball, Männer, UEFA Champions League, RB Leipzig - Manchester City FC 1DX 2686 by Stepro
Gündoğan playing for Manchester City in 2021

On 16 September 2017, Gündoğan made his first appearance for Manchester City in nine months, coming on as a substitute in the team's 6–0 2017–18 Premier League win away at Watford. Three months later, he scored his first goal of the season with a header, assisted by Leroy Sané, a goal that gave City the lead in their 4–1 win against Tottenham Hotspur. On 13 February 2018, he scored a brace, with one goal in each half, as City won 4–0 against FC Basel in the away leg of their round-of-sixteen tie in the 2017–18 Champions League. On 4 March, he set two Premier League passing records in a 1–0 home win over Chelsea: one for most passes attempted (174), and one for most passes completed (167) in a single game. The previous holder of both records had been his former City teammate Yaya Touré, who completed 157 passes from 168 attempts against Stoke City in December 2011.

In August 2019, Gündoğan signed a four-year contract extension with City.

On 21 September 2020, he tested positive for COVID-19, which obliged him to self-isolate for ten days. This was announced on the same day that City's first game of the season against Wolverhampton Wanderers was to be played. After recovering, he came back to the squad and scored his first Premier league goal of the season on 15 December in a 1–1 home draw against West Bromwich Albion.

On 7 February 2021, Gündoğan scored twice in a 4–1 away league-win over Liverpool, sealing City's first win at Anfield since 2003. On 12 February, he received the Premier League Player of the Month award for his performances throughout January. On 12 March, he received the award for a second consecutive month, with four goals and one assist in five games. In doing so, he became the first player for City to win back-to-back awards for the club. He was City's highest goalscorer of the league season with 13 goals. On 29 May, he played in the 2021 Champions League final, which ended in a 1–0 defeat against Chelsea.

On 22 May 2022, he scored two goals in a 3–2 home victory against Aston Villa on the final day of the 2021–22 Premier League, a result that clinched the Premier League title for the club.

2022–2023: Treble-winning captain and final season

Gündoğan was chosen by his teammates as club captain on 14 August 2022, replacing the departing Fernandinho. On 6 May 2023, he scored both goals in a 2–1 win over Leeds United, which secured his club's 10th league win in a row during the 2022–23 Premier League. On 14 May, Gündoğan scored twice against Everton, one of his goals being a clever flick and the other being a well-taken free kick. Guardiola commented that the player had shown "again and again his quality and his importance". Such performances contributed greatly to City eventually winning in the league title.

On 3 June 2023, Gündoğan scored the quickest goal in FA Cup final history, with a long-range volley within 12 seconds of the 2023 final against Manchester United. The match ended as a 2–1 victory for City, with Gündoğan scoring the second goal with another volley in the 51st minute. Gündoğan scored a third goal in the 72nd minute, though it was disallowed for offside. Owing to his performance in the match, he was praised as "magnificent" by journalist Phil McNulty, and was voted as man of the match by readers of BBC Sport. On 10 June, he won his first Champions League title after a 1–0 victory over Inter Milan in the final, becoming the first captain of the club to lift the European Cup. On 26 June, City announced the departure of Gündoğan after seven years.

Barcelona

On 26 June 2023, Gündoğan signed for La Liga club Barcelona on a two-year contract on a free transfer. He scored his first goal for Barcelona on 28 October in the sixth minute against Real Madrid, which gave his team the lead in El Clásico. However, the team eventually succumbed to a Jude Bellingham brace, leading to a 2–1 home defeat. Hence, he became the second oldest player to score for the club in that fixture, aged 33 years and 4 days, only behind Sergio Agüero.

International career

2019-06-11 Fußball, Männer, Länderspiel, Deutschland-Estland StP 2071 LR10 by Stepro (cropped)
Gündoğan lining up for Germany in 2019

After years of playing for different youth teams, Gündoğan received his first call-up to the Germany senior team in August 2011 for a friendly against Brazil, but did not feature in the game. On 11 October, he made his debut for Germany after coming on as a substitute for captain Philipp Lahm for the last six minutes of a 3–1 win against Belgium in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match at the Esprit Arena in Düsseldorf.

In May 2012, he was selected in the German squad for Euro 2012. Germany reached the semi-finals, although Gündoğan did not play. On 26 March 2013, Gündoğan scored his first goal for Germany in a 4–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Kazakhstan at the Grundig Stadion in Nuremberg. He scored his second goal in his next match, a friendly on 14 August at the Fritz-Walter-Stadion in Kaiserslautern, as Germany came from 2–0 down to draw 3–3 against Paraguay. However, he was taken off with a back injury that ruled him out for the next year and forced him to miss the 2014 World Cup, which Germany would go on to win.

Gündoğan returned to international football on 25 March 2015 in a 2–2 draw with Australia in a friendly. He participated in the Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, scoring in a 7–0 away win over Gibraltar on 14 June 2015, and a 3–2 win against Scotland at Hampden Park on 7 September.

On 6 May 2016, it was announced Gündoğan would be unable to participate at Euro 2016 due to injury. He did, however, make the team's squad, announced in June 2018, for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. On 19 May 2021, he was selected to the squad for Euro 2020.

On 10 November 2022, Gündoğan was selected in the 26-man squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In September 2023, he was named captain of the national team by coach Hansi Flick, in the absence of Manuel Neuer.

Style of play

Known for his vision, athleticism and leadership, Gündoğan's manager, Pep Guardiola, described him as "one of the best players [he had] worked with".

Jürgen Klopp, Gündoğan's former coach at Borussia Dortmund, has described Gündoğan as an "intelligent and complete midfielder with numerous strengths". Although Gündoğan had a tough start at Dortmund, where he admitted "things hadn't gone as well as I had thought", his "willingness to learn" and "great attitude", according to Klopp, allowed him to play a pivotal role in his later career at the club in the deep-lying playmaker role. He was able to fit into Dortmund's "explosive" style "by combining creativity and outstanding passing with the defensive attributes and tireless energy needed". In his earlier years, Gündoğan was often deployed as a wide midfielder, but later established himself in a more central role at Dortmund. Regarding this positional switch, he commented: "I came to the conclusion that playing wide wasn't my strength. I feel fine playing as a defensive or central midfielder, but I also believe that I can hold my own as a playmaker." In a 2016 UEFA profile, Philip Röber also noted that Gündoğan "excels in possession-based teams and can dictate a side's tempo."

At Manchester City, Gündoğan was deployed in a variety of midfield positions, including in a holding role. Although he was not statistically as productive as his other midfield teammates, specifically in terms of the number of goals and assists, he drew praise in the media for his ability to circulate possession and create space for other players. Throughout his career, Gündoğan often struggled with injuries.

Personal life

Gündoğan married Sara Arfaoui in 2022 and they have one child. Gündoğan's cousin Naz Aydemir is a volleyball player.

In May 2018, Gündoğan met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in London, along with Mesut Özil and Cenk Tosun, two other England-based, German-born players of Turkish descent. Gündoğan was criticised for referring to Erdoğan as "my president", despite not being a citizen of Turkey. The incident caused political controversy in Germany, and Gündoğan was jeered by German fans when playing for the national team weeks later.

Career statistics

Club

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup League cup Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
VfL Bochum II 2008–09 Regionalliga West 2 1 2 1
1. FC Nürnberg 2008–09 2. Bundesliga 1 0 1 0
2009–10 Bundesliga 22 1 2 1 2 1 26 3
2010–11 Bundesliga 25 5 1 0 26 5
Total 48 6 3 1 2 1 53 8
Borussia Dortmund 2011–12 Bundesliga 28 3 5 1 2 0 1 0 36 4
2012–13 Bundesliga 28 3 4 0 12 1 1 0 45 4
2013–14 Bundesliga 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 3 1
2014–15 Bundesliga 23 3 4 0 6 0 0 0 33 3
2015–16 Bundesliga 25 1 5 1 10 1 40 3
Total 105 10 19 2 30 2 3 1 157 15
Borussia Dortmund II 2011–12 Regionalliga West 1 0 1 0
Manchester City 2016–17 Premier League 10 3 0 0 0 0 6 2 16 5
2017–18 Premier League 30 4 3 0 6 0 9 2 48 6
2018–19 Premier League 31 6 6 0 4 0 8 0 1 0 50 6
2019–20 Premier League 31 2 4 1 5 0 9 2 1 0 50 5
2020–21 Premier League 28 13 4 1 2 0 12 3 46 17
2021–22 Premier League 27 8 4 2 1 0 10 0 1 0 43 10
2022–23 Premier League 31 8 3 2 3 0 13 1 1 0 51 11
Total 188 44 24 6 21 0 67 10 4 0 304 60
Barcelona 2023–24 La Liga 16 2 0 0 5 0 0 0 21 2
Career total 360 63 46 9 21 0 102 12 9 2 538 86

International

Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Germany 2011 1 0
2012 3 0
2013 4 2
2015 8 2
2016 4 0
2017 2 0
2018 7 0
2019 8 3
2020 5 1
2021 12 6
2022 12 3
2023 7 1
Total 73 18
Scores and results list Germany's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Gündoğan goal
List of international goals scored by İlkay Gündoğan
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref.
1 26 March 2013 Grundig Stadion, Nuremberg, Germany 7  Kazakhstan 3–0 4–1 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
2 14 August 2013 Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern, Germany 8  Paraguay 1–2 3–3 Friendly
3 13 June 2015 Estádio Algarve, Faro, Portugal 11  Gibraltar 3–0 7–0 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
4 7 September 2015 Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland 13  Scotland 3–2 3–2 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
5 11 June 2019 Opel Arena, Mainz, Germany 33  Estonia 4–0 8–0 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying
6 13 October 2019 Lilleküla Stadium, Tallinn, Estonia 35  Estonia 1–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying
7 2–0
8 6 September 2020 St. Jakob-Park, Basel, Switzerland 39  Switzerland 1–0 1–1 2020–21 UEFA Nations League A
9 25 March 2021 MSV-Arena, Duisburg, Germany 43  Iceland 3–0 3–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
10 31 March 2021 MSV-Arena, Duisburg, Germany 45  Macedonia 1–1 1–2 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
11 7 June 2021 Merkur Spiel-Arena, Düsseldorf, Germany 46  Latvia 2–0 7–1 Friendly
12 11 November 2021 Volkswagen Arena, Wolfsburg, Germany 53  Liechtenstein 1–0 9–0 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
13 14 November 2021 Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia 54  Armenia 2–0 4–1 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification
14 3–0
15 14 June 2022 Borussia-Park, Mönchengladbach, Germany 60  Italy 2–0 5–2 2022–23 UEFA Nations League A
16 26 September 2022 Wembley Stadium, London, England 62  England 1–0 3–3 2022–23 UEFA Nations League A
17 23 November 2022 Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar 64  Japan 1–0 1–2 2022 FIFA World Cup
18 14 October 2023 Pratt & Whitney Stadium, East Hartford, United States 70  United States 1–1 3–1 Friendly

Honours

Borussia Dortmund

Manchester City

Individual

  • Kicker Bundesliga Team of the Season: 2012–13
  • ESM Team of the Season: 2012–13, 2020–21
  • PFA Premier League Team of the Year: 2020–21
  • Premier League Game Changer of the Season: 2021–22
  • Premier League Player of the Month: January 2021, February 2021
  • UEFA Champions League Squad of the Season: 2020–21
  • Manchester City Goal of the Season: 2022–23
  • Footballer of the Year in Germany: 2023

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: İlkay Gündoğan para niños

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