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Ilkay Gundogan: Barcelona star heaps praise on Pep Guardiola

Pep Guardiola at Man City
© Ace Football

Gundogan reached his peak form under the former Barcelona boss.

Ilkay Gundogan has opened up on Pep Guardiola’s significant influence on his career.

Gundogan quickly rose to prominence after a move from Nürnberg to Borussia Dortmund in 2011. Under Jurgen Klopp, the German international won the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal.

However, Gundogan believes his 2016 transfer to Manchester City was the main turning point of his career.

“Before I joined Man City, I thought I knew football,” Gündogan told ESPN.

“I was 25 or 26 years old, I’d seen a lot. I’d played a Champions League final. But now standing here after seven years of Pep’s school, I’d say I didn’t know anything about football before. His influence on the team and me personally was immense.”

Gundogan played a key role in City’s treble-winning run last season but decided to leave Etihad on a summer move. His new manager at Barcelona, Xavi, is also a former Guardiola star.

“My first impressions [of Xavi] were amazing, exactly what I expected,” Gundogan added. “We spoke before the transfer on the phone and he explained a few things to me, his idea [of football], which is quite similar to Man City… We already have a great bond and it’s just going to get better.”