Ilkay Gündogan has officially been presented as a Barcelona player and will join in with team training from Tuesday, report Relevo.
Barcelona have presented their star signing and Xavi is getting a player who fits perfectly with his vision. Gündogan arrives at Barça at the peak of his career, and only a few months after lifting the Champions League.
“I’ve been watching Barça for the last two decades,” said Gündogan as he revealed that he has been watching the Catalan club since the days of Frank Rijkaard. He also said that his son, since the age of only four months old, was already wearing Barcelona shirts.
The first time Gündogan’s name circulated around Camp Nou was a year ago, when Barça signed Andreas Christensen. The Dane and the German international both have the same agent, with whom Barcelona had to negotiate hard.
Both Mateu Alemany and Joan Laporta recognised that Gündogan had received significantly higher offers from other clubs. “We want to compete and have options to win the Champions League,” said the president. And what better way to do that than by signing a European champion.
A key factor in the signing of the former City player was Xavi. “From the first time we spoke, I felt that the right thing to do was to come here. His way of playing is very similar to Guardiola’s, they are from the same school. The way he contacted me, his frankness… I see part of his personality in me, also in the way he plays. From the first moment, we had a very good connection. It wasn’t what he told me, but the way he told me,” Gündogan revealed when speaking about Xavi.
The first person that the German called after signing for Barça was Pep Guardiola. “He was the first to know. I called him and explained everything to him. He thanked me for everything I did for the club.”
Japtej Ghura | GSFN