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Manchester City lose captain to Barcelona

Captain Ilkay Gundogan will join LaLiga giants Barcelona bringing an end to a hugely successful seven-year stay with Manchester City.

During the course of his time at the Etihad, the German midfielder played a key role in what has proved the most successful period in the Club’s history, going on to make 304 appearances across all competitions and scoring 60 goals.

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Gundogan leaves Pep

Ilkay joined Manchester City from Borussia Dortmund in July 2016 and had the distinction of being Pep Guardiola’s first signing after the Catalan’s appointment as Manchester City manager.

Gundogan’s subsequent contribution helped City attain what has been an unparalleled record of achievement.

Humble and understated off the field, on it his vision and technique – allied to a fine eye for goal – established him as a pivotal figure in Guardiola’s squad.

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Captain for Manchester City this year

Appointed captain by his Manchester City peers at the outset of the 2022/23 campaign, Gundogan’s final game for the Club saw him captain them to Champions League glory in Istanbul against Inter earlier this month.

A famous 1-0 win in Turkey saw Manchester City crowned champions of Europe for the first time and so secure a historic Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup, with Ilkay leading Manchester to a special place in the record books.

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All told over the course of his seven-year stay at the Club, Gundogan won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, two Community Shields and the Champions League.

“For me it has been a total privilege and pleasure to be part of Manchester City for the last seven years,” Gundogan reflected.

“Manchester has been my home and I have felt part of a very special family at City.

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“I have been lucky to have experienced so many unforgettable moments in my time here and to have been captain for this extra special season has been the greatest experience of my career.

“First, I would like to thank Pep. To have been able to play under and learn from him for so long has been something I will never forget.

“I would also like to thank all my team-mates – past and present – who have all played such a special part in making my time here so amazing.

“Finally, I would like to thank the incredible City fans. They have supported me from the moment I arrived, and I owe them all so much for their support.

“This club made me realise all my dreams and I will forever be thankful for this opportunity.

“I will carry City always in my heart. Once a blue, always a blue.”

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Manchester City lose Ilkay Gundogan
Manchester City lose Ilkay Gundogan. Image: Club website
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