Gundogan becomes irreplaceable for Germany at Euro 2024

Gundogan becomes irreplaceable for Germany at Euro 2024
Gundogan becomes irreplaceable for Germany at Euro 2024

Africa-Press – Mauritius. Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan seemed in the best possible mood in his team’s base camp in Herzogenaurach in Bavaria. Ahead of Germany’s second Group ‘A’ encounter against Hungary this Wednesday, the 33-year-old went through all training exercises wearing a smile on his face.

The former Citizens midfielder is undoubtedly enjoying his new role in the newly formed 2014 world champions squad.

After 78 internationals in the German shirt, things seem to have significantly changed for the man who had harvested vast success with his clubs but failed to gain ground in the national team.

A tactical change initiated by German coach Julian Nagelsmann opened doors to new happiness. While the German captain covered the job as a six together with Real star Toni Kroos in the Uefa Euro 2021, his upgrade to a ten turned things for the better.

While Kroos is taking care of the job as a conducting six, Gundogan slipped into the role of a leading servant up front right behind the last front line.

In the 5-1 victory in Germany’s curtain raiser and Euro 2024 opening game, he became the man to take care of the inspiring source for the team’s gifted youngsters such as Jamal Musiala and Floria Wirtz.

Having moved forward seems a perfect match as not only German coach Nagelsmann is praising Gundogan’s ability “to conduct our rhythm”.

His former Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola, in a recent interview, called him “one of the most intelligent players I have ever worked with.”

The Spaniard called the German “the key to our success” after having won several Premier League championships and the 2023 Champions League.

“You have rarely a player implementing his task as he does. You tell him and he does perfectly no matter how intense the pressure is,” the 53-year-old added. Guardiola predicted the midfielder is on his way to becoming “a great coach as he can read the game in every minute” after his active career.

Against Scotland, Gundogan perfectly orchestrated the game, and due to striker icon Thomas Muller “had his foot involved in all of our goals.”

Gundogan has never been a loudspeaker but silently cared for his teams. “I always considered what my teammates need to get better.”

Not acting as a self-marketing force, the Gelsenkirchen-born and Turkish-rooted earned doubts and critics.

TV pundits and German record internationals such as Lothar Matthaeus questioned his contribution to the German game. Aside from others, Mattaeus mentioned that Bayern winger Leroy Sane might be the better choice.

With the start of Euro 2024, things seem to have changed. The midfielder has become irreplaceable and, for the first time, has reached a position where his skills fully bloom.

He feels the trust of the coach and team, Gundogan claimed.

“That was the start we needed,” he said, adding that “everyone can see I feel comfortable with my role.”

As for now, the coaching job predicted by Guardiola can wait as Gundogan is talking about further silverware as a player. “It’s a special tournament; it’s one at home.”

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