Gundogan still has 'a lot to prove'


Ilkay Gundogan of FC Barcelona looks on as he is unveiled as new FC Barcelona player at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on July 17, 2023 in Sant Joan Despi, Spain.

Barcelona’s new signing Ilkay Gundogan says he still has “a lot to prove” after he was unveiled at the Catalan club following his move from Manchester City.

The German midfielder, 32, captained City to the Treble last season, playing a key role with 11 goals in 51 games.

He has signed a two-year deal at Barca after joining on a free transfer.

“Even though I’m older, I’m prepared for the challenge and I still have a lot to prove,” said Gundogan.

Gundogan was presented at Barcelona’s training facilities on Monday. He will now play under Xavi – who played under City boss Pep Guardiola at Barcelona from 2008-2012, winning a Spanish treble in 2009.

“The style is very similar to what I played at City,” Gundogan said.

“Guardiola and Xavi are very similar. I felt a connection with Xavi from the first moment we talked. When I spoke to him I knew they [Barcelona] were on the right track.

“It’s an incredible team and an opportunity to be able to play in a different league and in a different country.

“We will try to fight for the Champions League title. It is a responsibility to wear this shirt and I will try to give my best to win as many titles as possible.”

Gundogan, who spent time coaching Manchester City’s Under 16s, is also excited to help develop Barcelona’s young midfielders who he described as “incredible” and “very talented” after both Pedri and Gavi won the Golden Boy award for the best under 21 player in Europe over the past two seasons.

He added: “I come with more experience because my life and my career have not been easy and I think my experience can help a lot.

“They are a very talented young group of players who do better things than me. If I can give them at least 1%, I’ll be happy.”

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