Ilkay Gundogan is to join Barcelona bringing an end to a hugely successful seven-year stay with Manchester City.

During the course of his time at the Etihad, the German midfielder played a key role in what has proved the most successful period in the Club’s history, going on to make 304 appearances across all competitions and scoring 60 goals.

Ilkay joined City from Borussia Dortmund in July 2016 and had the distinction of being Pep Guardiola’s first signing after the Catalan’s appointment as City manager.

Gundogan’s subsequent contribution helped City attain what has been an unparalleled record of achievement.

Humble and understated off the field, on it his vision and technique - allied to a fine eye for goal – established him as a pivotal figure in Guardiola’s squad.

Appointed captain by his City peers at the outset of the 2022/23 campaign, Gundogan’s final game for the Club saw him captain us to Champions League glory in Istanbul against Inter earlier this month.

A famous 1-0 win in Turkey saw City crowned champions of Europe for the first time and so secure a historic Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and European Cup, with Ilkay leading the Club to a special place in the record books.

All told over the course of his seven-year stay at the Club, Gundogan won five Premier League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, two Community Shields and the Champions League.

Along the way there have been numerous standout moments.

In the final game of the 2021/22 Premier League season, it was Gundogan’s dramatic late brace that completed a stunning turnaround from 2-0 down to seal a 3-2 win over Aston Villa and so seal the Premier League title.

Likewise, Ilkay struck twice again in the 2023 FA Cup final to help City beat Manchester United 2-1 in the first-ever all-Manchester showpiece, with the German’s sensational volleyed opener on 12 seconds becoming the quickest goal in FA Cup final history.

The 2020/21 campaign saw Gundogan’s best-ever goal return, as he claimed 17 goals in total to help City win both the Premier League and Carabao Cup, amongst them a brace that helped underscore a 4-1 win at Liverpool in February 2021, City’s first league success at Anfield since 2003.

On the international front, his impact for Germany has seen the 32-year-old amass 67 caps to date with Gundogan figuring at both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, where he captained the national squad, alongside appearances at EURO 2012 and EURO 2020.

As well as his contribution on the field, another hallmark of his time at City was a commitment to helping those less fortunate than himself both in Manchester and beyond.

“For me it has been a total privilege and pleasure to be part of Manchester City for the last seven years,” Gundogan reflected.

“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.

“First, I would like to thank Pep. To have been able to play under and learn from him for so long has been something I will never forget.

“I would also like to thank all my team-mates – past and present – who have all played such a special part in making my time here so amazing.

“Finally, I would like to thank the incredible City fans. They have supported me from the moment I arrived, and I owe them all so much for their support.

“This club made me realise all my dreams and I will forever be thankful for this opportunity.

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

Reflecting on Gundogan’s major contribution to City, Director of Football Txiki Begiristain paid handsome tribute to his time at the Etihad.

“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,” said Begiristain.

“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.

“And he leaves us knowing that he will always be welcomed at this football club.”

Everyone at Manchester City wishes Ilkay the very best of luck in this new chapter of his career.