The German midfielder highlights the similarities between Pep Guardiola and Xavi’s football philosophy
Ilkay Gundogan, the talented midfielder who recently departed Manchester City as a free agent after securing the Treble, has shed light on how Barcelona manager, Xavi Hernandez, played a pivotal role in his decision to join the Catalan giants this summer.
In an exclusive interview with ESPN, Gundogan expressed his admiration for Xavi, emphasizing that their first interaction exceeded all expectations. The German midfielder revealed that the two had spoken extensively on the phone prior to his transfer, during which Xavi shared his vision for the club and his football philosophy, which resonated strongly with Gundogan.
Gundogan stated, “My first impressions [of Xavi] were amazing, exactly what I expected. 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.”
The bond between Gundogan and Xavi is rooted in the shared football philosophy that both managers possess. Having previously worked under Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Gundogan recognized the similarities between the two esteemed coaches. This connection played a significant role in his decision to leave the Premier League champions and embark on a new chapter at Barcelona.
Barcelona, under Xavi’s leadership, clinched the La Liga title last season, finishing 10 points ahead of their arch-rivals, Real Madrid. This impressive feat in Xavi’s first full campaign as manager showcased his ability to lead the team to success. Gundogan’s admiration for Xavi’s achievements further solidified his belief in the manager’s vision for Barcelona’s future.
With Gundogan’s arrival, Barcelona aims to strengthen their midfield, adding depth and versatility to their squad. The German international’s technical skills and ability to control the game from the center of the pitch make him an ideal fit for Xavi’s system. The anticipation surrounding Gundogan’s partnership with Barcelona’s other midfield maestros, such as Sergio Busquets and Frenkie de Jong, is palpable among fans and pundits alike.
Gundogan’s move to Barcelona marks a significant turning point in his career. After a successful spell at Manchester City, where he played a crucial role in the team’s domestic and European triumphs, the midfielder seeks to challenge himself further by joining one of Europe’s most prestigious clubs. The allure of playing alongside some of the world’s best players, including Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, undoubtedly played a part in his decision.
As Gundogan embarks on this new adventure, football enthusiasts eagerly await the unfolding of his journey at Barcelona. The midfielder’s seamless transition into Xavi’s system and his ability to make an immediate impact on the pitch will undoubtedly be closely monitored by fans and pundits alike.
Also read: Pep Guardiola Is Leaving Man City
In conclusion, Ilkay Gundogan’s revelation about Xavi Hernandez’s persuasive role in his move from Manchester City to Barcelona has shed light on the strong bond between the two and the shared football philosophy that influenced Gundogan’s decision. As he joins Barcelona, Gundogan aims to contribute to the team’s success and strengthen their midfield further. The football world eagerly awaits the unfolding of this exciting chapter in Gundogan’s career and the impact he will have on Xavi’s Barcelona.