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‘A bit messy’ – Ilkay Gundogan opens up on his first season with Barcelona

Ilkay Gundogan has been chatting about his first season at Barcelona and says it’s been a “bit messy” as he’s had to play in a variety of roles in midfield.

The Germany international is currently at Euro 2024 where he’s being impressed with the hosts who are through to the last 16 and a clash with Denmark.

Germany coach Julian Nagelsmann has made it clear that Gundogan should play high up the pitch, and the midfielder says he’s had to “adapt constantly” with Barca.

“For a long time, I’ve been playing for Germany without thinking too much. I am so comfortable on the pitch with my team-mates and in my position,” he told The Athletic.

“At Manchester City, I played a lot in this role. With Barcelona, I have played anywhere I have been needed, so it has been a bit messy, with a lot of changes of position.

“I have needed to adapt constantly. Sometimes playing well is also knowing which position you play, who is playing around you, and feeling comfortable with it.”

New manager Hansi Flick has already been tipped to use Gundogan as a playmaker next season after succeeding Xavi as boss.

Gundogan also spoke about his willingness to speak his mind, after a season where he criticised team-mate Ronald Araujo, and says it’s the only way to improve.

“I like to be in front of the team and if the coach tells me, ‘Look, Gundo, you did this wrong’, I want to get better so thanks for letting me know. If it’s in front of my team-mates even better, so they see what we all need to do,” he added.

“I see myself as very tolerant. Everyone is so different and I love it. I am far away from saying everyone has to think like me, because I am far away from being perfect as well. But if you’re not honest, your progress will get stuck. It’s the only way to keep improving.”

Barcelona’s midfielder will lead out his Germany team once again tonight against Denmark where a win will set up a quarter-final against either Spain or Georiga.

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