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Gundo gone as Treble winner leaves City for Barca
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Rob Ellis
Ilkay Gundogan lifted the Champions League trophy in his final match for Manchester City
Ilkay Gundogan lifted the Champions League trophy in his final match for Manchester City

Ilkay Gundogan called last season the "greatest experience" of his career after calling time on seven years at Manchester City.

The Premier League champions have confirmed that their captain has joined Barcelona on a free transfer following the expiration of his contract.

Germany midfielder Gundogan, 32, made 304 appearances for City and captained Pep Guardiola's side to a Treble last term.

In an emotional farewell message, he said: "For me it has been a total privilege and pleasure to be part of Manchester City for the last seven years.

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

"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.

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

Instead of extending his deal at the Etihad, Gundogan has decided to sign for Barca and try a new challenge in a different environment.

It brings an end to a seven-year stay in Manchester which saw the playmaker lift 14 major honours, including five Premier League titles.

The 67-cap international was Guardiola's first signing at the club and led by example as the Spaniard transformed City into a dominant force in England.

He has been a moment for the big occasion — scoring a brace on the final day of the 2021-22 season to help complete the comeback against Aston Villa and snatch the title away from Liverpool.

Another brace at Wembley last season saw City fend off rivals Manchester United to lift the FA Cup, with Gundogan scoring after 12 seconds, the fastest final goal in the competition's history.

Director of football Txiki Begiristain also paid tribute to the City legend, saying: "Ilkay has been a wonderful servant for Manchester City, and he leaves our club on a very special high having captained us to a historic Treble,

"He has played a huge part in the successes we have enjoyed in recent seasons and Ilkay's intelligence, leadership and commitment to the club — both on and off the field — has been an inspiration to everyone.

"Ilkay has truly cemented his place in the history of Manchester City and we all wish him well in the next chapter of his career."


Ilkay GuendoganManchester CityPremier LeagueBarcelonaLaLiga
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