İlkay Gündoğan is a German professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Premier League club Manchester City and the German national team.
Gündoğan is considered one of the best midfielders of his generation, known for his vision, passing, technique and ability to control the tempo of matches. He has been a key player for Manchester City under Pep Guardiola and was instrumental in their back-to-back Premier League title wins in 2018 and 2019.
At international level, Gündoğan was part of the German squad that won the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He has earned over 50 caps for Germany since 2011.
İlkay Gündoğan’s Early Life and Career Beginnings
İlkay Gündoğan was born on October 24, 1990 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany to Turkish parents. His father Irfan was a Turkish immigrant who came to Germany at the age of 16 to work as a barber.
Gündoğan began playing football at the youth academy of local club VfL Bochum at age four. He progressed through the youth ranks at Bochum before making his first team debut in 2009 at the age of 18.
The talented midfielder made an immediate impact at senior level, scoring 3 goals in 15 appearances in his debut season while helping Bochum gain promotion to the Bundesliga. His impressive performances attracted attention from bigger clubs in Germany and abroad.
Rise to Stardom at Borussia Dortmund
In 2011, Gündoğan signed for Borussia Dortmund. He quickly established himself as a key player under manager Jürgen Klopp, helping Dortmund win the Bundesliga title in his very first season.
Despite struggling with injuries during his time at Dortmund, Gündoğan developed into one of the best central midfielders in Europe. He possessed an excellent passing range, vision, and ability to control matches with his composure and technique on the ball.
The 2011-12 season was a breakthrough campaign for Gündoğan as he scored 6 goals in 34 league appearances to help Dortmund do the domestic double, winning the Bundesliga and DFB Pokal.
Over the next three seasons from 2012 to 2015, Gündoğan won the DFB Pokal again and helped Dortmund reach the UEFA Champions League final in 2013. Recurring back problems and other injuries restricted his playing time, but he remained a vital member of Klopp’s team.
In total he made 157 appearances for Dortmund, scoring 15 goals, and winning 2 Bundesliga titles, 1 DFB Pokal and reaching a Champions League final. His performances attracted interest from clubs around Europe.
Manchester City and Premier League Success
In the summer of 2016, Gündoğan signed for English side Manchester City in Pep Guardiola’s first season as manager. The transfer fee was reported to be around £20 million.
Despite another serious knee injury that ruled him out for several months shortly after signing, Gündoğan eventually became a key part of Guardiola’s system at City with his technical quality, passing and ability to retain possession.
The 2017-18 season was Gündoğan’s breakthrough campaign at Manchester City as he played an important role in their record-breaking Premier League triumph, scoring 6 goals in 25 appearances. City set new records for most points, goals and wins on their way to the title.
The following 2018-19 season was equally successful as City retained their Premier League crown with Gündoğan again contributing 6 goals, including pivotal strikes against Liverpool and Leicester City late in the season.
Gündoğan has won 4 major trophies at Manchester City – two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and three League Cups. When fit, he continues to be relied upon by Pep Guardiola to control matches with his accomplishments on the ball and passing range.
International Career with Germany
Gündoğan chose to represent Germany at international level and progressed through the country’s youth teams, representing the under-15s, under-16s, under-17s, under-18s, under-19s, under 20s and under-21s.
He made his full international debut in a friendly against Belgium in November 2011 at the age of 21. The following year, he was part of the German squad at UEFA Euro 2012 that reached the semi-finals.
In 2014, Gündoğan was named in Germany’s FIFA World Cup squad and made four substitute appearances as they won the tournament in Brazil. He set up the winning goal for Mario Götze in the final against Argentina.
The midfielder has been a regular for Germany when not hampered by injury, earning over 50 caps and scoring 15 international goals. He was part of the squad that reached the semi-finals of Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup.
Gündoğan continues to be an important midfield option for manager Hansi Flick heading into the 2022 World Cup, offering composure on the ball, passing range and big game experience.
İlkay Gündoğan’s Playing Style
- Deep-lying playmaker – Gündoğan often plays the deepest midfield role, dictating play with his range of passing and ability to control possession. He has the vision to initiate attacks from deep with his accurate long passes.
- Technically accomplished – He is very comfortable and assured in possession even in confined spaces, capable of turning away from defenders and playing intricate passes to teammates.
- Calm and composed – Gündoğan’s unruffled style on the ball allows him to maintain possession under pressure and find the right pass. He keeps the ball moving with his quick, short passing.
- Intelligence – Reads the game well and knows when to speed up or slow down the tempo of his team’s attacks. His smart movement off the ball makes him an elusive opponent.
- Set-piece ability – He is an accomplished free-kick and corner taker, delivering dangerous crosses into the box and creating goalscoring chances.
- Work rate – Willing to track back and do the defensive side of midfield play, though anchoring the defense is not his preferred role. Stamina to contribute at both ends of the pitch.
İlkay Gündoğan’s Net Worth, Endorsements and Sponsorships
According to multiple reports, İlkay Gündoğan’s current net worth is estimated to be around $25 million. The bulk of this wealth has been accumulated during his playing career through salaries, bonuses, endorsements and investments.
Some of his major endorsement deals include:
- Nike – Gündoğan signed an endorsement deal with Nike in 2012 to wear their boots. This is his longest standing sponsorship.
- Mercedes-Benz – As a German international, Gündoğan has a sponsorship deal to endorse Mercedes-Benz cars.
- Electronic Arts – The football video gaming giants EA Sports have an endorsement deal with Gündoğan to feature in their FIFA games.
- Hublot – The luxury Swiss watchmaker signed Gündoğan as a brand ambassador in 2018. He often wears Hublot watches.
Gündoğan also earns additional income through appearances, image rights and various investments. His current salary at Manchester City is reportedly around £160,000 a week or £8.3 million a year.
İlkay Gündoğan’s Wife and Family
İlkay Gündoğan married his long-term partner Sara Arfaoui in June 2022. Arfaoui is a Swiss-born actress and model of Tunisian descent. The couple reportedly first met after a Manchester City game in 2020.
Gündoğan has one child, a son named Kerim (born 2018), from a previous relationship with former girlfriend Sila Sahin. The footballer maintains shared custody of his son after separating from Sahin.
The rest of Gündoğan’s family including his parents and sibling still reside in Germany where he was born. He has spoken about the importance of his family’s support throughout his career. His father still attends matches whenever possible.
Gündoğan leads a relatively low-key private life away from football. He prefers to keep the focus on his performances on the pitch.
İlkay Gündoğan’s Career Honors and Achievements
- Premier League: 2021–22, 2018–19, 2017–18
- FA Cup: 2018–19
- Football League/EFL Cup: 2021–22, 2019–20, 2018–19, 2017–18
- UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2012–13
- Bundesliga: 2011–12, 2010–11
- DFB-Pokal: 2011–12
- FIFA World Cup:
İlkay Gündoğan has developed into one of the best midfielders of his generation, showcasing his talents in Germany and England. His vision, passing range, technique and ability to control matches make him a unique talent.
Gündoğan has won silverware at every club he has played for, from Bundesliga titles with Borussia Dortmund to Premier League crowns with Manchester City. He has been a key player under top coaches like Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola.
Internationally, Gündoğan achieved the greatest honor in football by winning the World Cup with Germany in 2014. He continues to be an important part of the national team set-up when fit.
Off the pitch, Gündoğan leads a private life while amassing a personal fortune through his playing contracts, endorsements and investments. He is sponsored by top brands like Nike and Mercedes.
At 31, Gündoğan is still in his prime years as a footballer. His ability and experience will continue to be an asset to his clubs and country in the coming seasons as he chases more silverware before eventually hanging up his boots. For now, he remains one of the best in his position worldwide.
What is İlkay Gündoğan’s current club?
İlkay Gündoğan currently plays for English Premier League side Manchester City. He signed for the club in 2016 from Borussia Dortmund for around £20 million.
How many trophies has he won with Manchester City?
Gündoğan has won 4 major trophies so far with Manchester City – 2 Premier League titles (2018, 2019), 1 FA Cup (2019) and 3 League Cups (2018, 2019, 2022).
Is İlkay Gündoğan married?
Yes, Gündoğan married his long-term girlfriend Sara Arfaoui in June 2022. Arfaoui is a Swiss actress and model. The couple had been dating since 2020 after meeting following a Man City match.
What position does İlkay Gündoğan play?
Gündoğan primarily plays as a central midfielder, often in a deep lying playmaker role where he can dictate games with his passing range. He is also capable playing higher up the pitch in attacking midfield.
How much is İlkay Gündoğan worth?
Gündoğan’s current net worth is estimated to be around $25 million. His wealth comes mostly from his salary and endorsements at Manchester City, as well as previous deals with Borussia Dortmund and personal investments.