"There I stood. 2nd Bundesliga. 62 minutes had been played. I came in and played the first time as a professional. An indescribable feeling! 1.FC Nürnberg against TSV 1860 München, last game of the season.
We won the match, and the subsequent victory in the Bundesliga promotion playoff meant we had reached the top league in Germany.”
First Bundesliga goal:
“Imagine scoring your first goal in the Bundesliga at all. However, this was against FC Bayern. 1:1 equalizer in our own stadium. My heart trembled. In my mind there is a mixture of absolute emptiness and a flood of thoughts.
I walk in the direction of the fans and my ecstasy bursts inexorably out of me. Only when Albert Bunjaku grabbed me that I slowly came back down to earth. I do not know if I shed a tear, but the world was definitely quiet!”
National team debut
"Just one year after my debut at U21 Germany, the next big premiere was on the agenda for me:
I got the chance to play for Germany’s first team in the Arena of Düsseldorf. A match against Belgium for the European Championship qualification and the scoreboard showed 3:1 for us in the end.
"I am at one of the biggest clubs in Germany. I now played on the field at the Westfalenstadion. "Number 21 - ILKAY ... GÜNDOGAN" sounds from the stadium boxes and it was so unreal, as unreal as the first season.
I had a few problems to get used to at first, but with time I found a better rhythm and my new role. Then the breakthrough: German Champion, DFB Cup winner. A year I could never have dreamed of. "
"I'm not a man who quickly becomes euphoric, or lavishly reminiscent of beautiful memories, but this game is different. At the end of the game, I'm tired, but I'm still on the pitch after 94 minutes, because when Felipe presses the ball over the line, a few seconds after the equalizer, there's no stopping.
Champions League Semifinals! The stadium explodes, I jump over the pitch! Years later I still disagree with the President of Malaga. We just deserved this miracle!"
CL final with BVB:
"It's one of the bitterest days of my career. After going down 1-0, I took the penalty in the 67th minute. You know that the intensity of a Champions League Final is incredible, but the seconds before a penalty beat everything. You could feel all the glares of the fans, as well as your heart pounding fast in your chest.
But I felt ready. Go, GOAL! Nevertheless, the night didn’t go to plan. A goal in the 89th minute for Bayern came too late and the title remains a dream. Silence in the night at Wembley.“
Transfer to Manchester City:
"After five beautiful years and four titles at Borussia Dortmund, it is time for a new challenge at Manchester City. As Pep Guardiola told me about his vision of football, my decision was made:
it attracted me to this island, and within it, probably the strongest league in the world. After a cruciate rupture in the first year, I feel ready to attack in my second campaign in England. "