Welcome to the June issue of our official and FREE digital monthly magazine.

Quite a lot has happened in the past few weeks - hence our slightly later publication.

Our sprint to the Premier League finish line was timed perfectly and allowed the last three games to be a lot less anxious than they might have been.

That, in turn, allowed Pep Guardiola to rest a few weary legs ahead of the FA Cup final against United - and what a happy day that turned out to be.

Hopefully, we've managed to capture the joy and celebration of our domestic double as well as previewing the Champions League final against Inter.

These are amazing times to be a City fan - the best ever, in fact.

In this issue, we speak to the man of the moment, skipper Ilkay Gundogan - and if you loved our German star before, this interview is likely to increase that feeling to another level.

We also feature the fascinating story of a Norwegian journalist and lifelong Blue about how his job has changed since Erling Haaland joined City.

And as we approach the 20-year anniversary of Marc Vivien Foe's tragic passing, we take a Time Machine back to his first City Magazine interview.

There's also Kevin Cummins' Maine Road photoshoot for Noel Gallagher - and a competition to win Noel's new album.

We speak to the guys behind the 'Haaland, Haaland' song as well as look at the origins of the 'Everywhere' chant, both with City fans and the original classic.

All the above plus loads more... enjoy!

We caught up with our skipper Ilkay Gundogan after another fantastic campaign in sky blue and look back on his time with City so far…

When Pep Guardiola became Manchester City manager, he quickly identified Ilkay Gundogan as the player he first wanted to sign.

The German international wasn’t that well known outside of his country, though followers of Bundesliga football and the Champions League were very familiar with the versatile midfielder who had won three trophies with Borussia Dortmund and been a Champions League finalist in 2012/13, scoring in the 2-1 defeat to Bayern Munich at Wembley.

Gundogan was just 21 at the time of that game, and he would become an integral member of Jurgen Klopp’s side before a back injury and surgery ruled him out for the best part of a year.

Guardiola’s arrival at City saw a few new arrivals as the Catalan got to grips with the Premier League and a completely different challenge than he'd had in Spain and Germany.

The intelligent Gundogan was high on his wish list having seen him up close during his time as Bayern boss and an estimated fee of around £20m looked like a bargain for a player of Ilkay’s undoubted quality - and it was.

Able to play as a midfield anchor, attacking midfielder or even a false nine, not to mention being an excellent passer with the ability to unlock the most compact defences, ‘Gundo’ signed on 2 June 2016 and a new adventure began.

His first season ended in December of that first year as he sustained cruciate ligament damage to his knee, and his initial campaign in sky blue was over before it had really started.

With two major injuries in three years, it was a difficult time for a player who must have wondered if it was just bad luck, or a pattern was forming in his career.

As it transpired, it was just rotten luck, as he later became almost a permanent fixture in Guardiola’s starting XI over the six seasons that followed.

In fact, ahead of the Champions League final against Inter, Gundo had racked up 303 appearances for the Blues, scoring 60 goals along the way.

Thirteen winner’s medals later – five of those as a Premier League champion – and the 32-year-old is firmly etched in Manchester City folklore, particularly for his big game moments that have become almost the norm.

When the influential Fernandinho left City last season, it was Ilkay who was voted in as team captain and his leadership has seen him have maybe his best campaign yet - quite a statement - but his two FA Cup final goals have perhaps elevated this season above all others.

Not one to shout or remonstrate on the pitch, the quietly spoken Gundo has captained the side his way – with thought, intelligence and compassion.

Respected throughout the Club and on the terraces, Guardiola has spoken many times of his admiration for his captain, revealing that while he isn’t the loudest in the dressing room, “when he speaks, everyone listens.”

This interview was conducted just ahead of the FA Cup final and 10 days before the Champions League final where he will be hoping it is third time lucky after twice ending on the losing side, first with Dortmund and then City.

The question is, did he ever imagine everything that has happened would happen when he first became a City player in 2016?

To be honest, no,” he smiled.

“If you look back at my career, I was at FC Nurnberg for two-and-a-half years and I was at Dortmund for five years – which I thought at the end was a pretty long time, so I never imagined I’d be at Manchester City for seven years.

“But that in itself, I think, shows how special the journey has been so far, and how challenging it has been – because I am the sort of person and type of character who is constantly looking for a new challenge and I like to be tested and find out what my limits are.

“This is the way I learn and also learn things about myself. There is a lot of credit that goes to Pep because of the way we play and the way we adapt our game to every single opponent, but then every year, we also have a slightly different style – that’s always attractive for a player like me who always likes to adapt and evolve inside the game.

"That’s why it doesn’t really feel as though I have been here seven years, because it’s always been different.."

“I remember the first time I came through the doors here – on my crutches – the journey so far has been incredible, and I feel very privileged to be part of this special club and this team – and I’m still loving it.”

Of course, no chat with Ilkay Gundogan would be complete without recalling the events of Sunday, 22 May 2022.

Gundogan had started on the bench against Aston Villa and came on after 68 minutes with City losing 1-0. He’d been on the pitch less than 60 seconds before Philippe Coutinho made it 2-0 to stun the Etihad into silence – bar the ecstatic celebrations of 3,000 travelling fans.

For many, it was May 2012 all over again. In fact, save for nine days’ difference, it was exactly a decade before that City recovered from 2-1 down against QPR to score two goals in added time and clinch the Premier League title for the first time in 42 years.

Surely history couldn’t repeat itself?

The scenario and events that followed were slightly different, but the outcome was equally incredible and, thankfully, ultimately the same.

City, masters of drama and sending fans on a rollercoaster of emotion, would indeed do it the hard way again, and central to everything was Ilkay Gundogan.

His clever header halved the deficit on 76 minutes and two minutes after that, Rodrigo’s precise low drive made it 2-2 to create delirium at the Etihad.

City still needed to win with Liverpool ahead in their game against Wolves and set to overhaul the Blues on the finish line – unless the defending Premier League champions could score again.

And we did.

Kevin De Bruyne won the ball on the right and drove towards the box where he spotted Gundogan's run and curled a low pass to the back post where the German gleefully swept home to send the City fans into raptures.

Gundo been on the pitch 13 minutes and scored two goals and, of course, that was the difference on the day as City were crowned champions again. It was the stuff of dreams.

But in his dreams – or rather nightmares - does Ilkay arrive at the back post and miss that chance?

“I don’t really dream about it,” he said.

“It’s probably not that easy to explain – the feelings and the emotions that I went through on that specific day. I’m not sure whether it was in the City Studios documentary ‘Together’ or not, but after the game I just sat down on the floor in the shower on my own and just tried to understand what had just happened.

“On the pitch, everything unfurled so quickly, you know, so I just wanted to take my time and absorb it all – a couple of minutes by myself before I talked to anyone, checked my phone, or started celebrating. I felt a little bit mentally drained at that moment, but when I look back, I still get emotional about everything when I relive that 20 or 30 minutes on that day.

“It was just an amazing day – maybe for me, personally, my best day so far as a Manchester City player.”

That was before the two-goal haul in the FA Cup final against United, of course - either or must be near the top of his list!

Gundo has always been a popular player, but whether it was that title-winning brace against Villa, or the season he finished with 17 goals (2020-21) when he couldn’t stop scoring, his FA Cup final brace or any number of reasons, his popularity has never been higher among City fans.

And he feels all that warmth and respect the supporters have for him.

“I feel very appreciated,” he smiled.

“I’ve always considered myself as a player who doesn’t seek attention and maybe I even try to avoid it at times because I don’t really enjoy being the centre of everything – I prefer to be in the background rather than the spotlight, but I still want to do my work and perform at the highest possible level.

“If that’s something that people – our fans – see and appreciate in my performances and contribution to the club, then I’m the happiest man in the team. This is a simple summary of how I see myself and how I want to be seen.

“Sometimes, I do want to score or create a goal that decides a game or whatever – that might be something nice at that moment - but it’s not something I want consistently because I’m more pleased when others shine and when I’m able to help them shine as well. I’m just as happy doing that.”

Ilkay Gundogan. A charming man, indeed.