Men's Team

Gundogan: It's a privilege to be coached by Guardiola

Ilkay Gundogan says it is a privilege to be coached by Pep Guardiola and believes the City manager stands as one of the most innovative managers the game of football has ever seen.

The German midfielder was one of the Guardiola’s first signings when he took over at the Club in the summer of 2016, moving to us from Borussia Dortmund.

In the ensuing six years, the 31-year-old has proved a key catalyst in our remarkable success under the Catalan, helping the Club amass 11 major honours, most latterly the 2021/22 Premier League title.

And as he prepared to embark on his seventh season at City playing under Pep ahead of Sunday’s Premier League opener at West Ham, Gundogan paid a handsome tribute to Guardiola’s incredible impact not just on City but on football as a whole.


“I think it is huge. In terms of qualities, I have never seen anyone better than him,” Gundogan asserted.

“I probably won’t see anyone better than him. I just feel privileged to be able to work with him right now for the seventh year, to still learn from him, to be valued and appreciated by him.

"I really do believe that he was and is the most innovative managers that football has ever seen.

“I think he is just incredible, what he has achieved and what he is still able to achieve. It is just an honour for me.”

Gundogan played a decisive role in City’s latest title success, coming on from the bench to score two goals in five minutes – including the title-clinching winner – in May’s dramatic 3-2 comeback victory against Aston Villa.

It was perhaps the ultimate example of the importance of the whole City squad with every player – whether in the starting eleven or on the bench – capable of making a decisive contribution.


And with competition for starting places again expected to be fierce given the quality at Guardiola’s disposal, Gundogan said the role of squad rotation would again be a key component in the Club’s quest for success this term

“It is disappointing when you are not in the line-up, but you know that your squad is always big and you have a lot of players that are also capable of playing on the highest level,” Gundogan pointed out.

“It is something we also need to get used to a little bit, where you might play a game and then you sit out a game just because of the rotation.

“I believe everyone has a job in the game that they play and their job is to give the best possible performance for your team and if you get subbed on then you will try to do your best.

“That is how I see it, even though there is disappointment.”

It has been somewhat of a summer of change at the Etihad.

Four experienced players – Fernandinho, Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and Oleks Zinchenko - have all departed with four new faces coming in in the shape of Erling Haaland, Kalvin Phillips, Julian Alvarez and Stefan Ortega Moreno.


Haaland has followed the same career trajectory as Gundogan in making the move from Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund to the Etihad.

But though Haaland is still very young, having only celebrated his 22nd birthday last month, Gundogan has already seen enough from our exciting Norwegian striker to realise he needs no special guidance or pointers as prepares for his new challenge.

“I believe someone with his quality doesn’t really need advice from myself,” Gundogan added.

“[Erling and I] didn’t speak about football. We spoke about personal stuff, he is sitting next to me in the dressing room as well. We haven’t spoken about football so far.

“The mentality that he has speaks for itself.

"With that right mentality, he is not going to struggle a lot to adapt to English football. I really don’t believe that.”

West Ham v City

In the UK, the game will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, while fans living around the world can find out how they can tune in via the TV listings here, courtesy of

You can also follow the game in our Matchday Centre on and the official app, which includes minute by minute text updates from 14:30, whilst key moments will be covered on Twitter: @ManCity.

Our Matchday Live show begins one hour before kick-off and is available on all our digital platforms, including our Matchday Centre.

And, during the game, you can listen to live audio commentary in the Man City app.

Short highlights will be available to watch from 20:15, while CITY+ subscribers will also be able to enjoy every minute of the action in our full-match replay from midnight.

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