Ilkay Gundogan: Germany are the best in Euro 2016 but it is hard to watch

Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan is interviewed

Ilkay Gundogan has admitted difficulty in watching Germany win the 2014 World Cup and reach the Euro 2016 semi-finals due to the injuries that caused Manchester City’s new midfielder to miss each of the tournaments.

Gundogan, 25, became Pep Guardiola’s first signing when joining from Borussia Dortmund in June for a transfer fee of around £21m. This was despite Gundogan suffering a dislocated knee during training with Dortmund in early May.

This ruled him out of the European Championship in France where Germany defeated Italy on penalties in the quarter-final on Saturday night, and Gundogan also missed Brazil 2014 due to a serious back problem.

In his absence Germany became world champions in Rio. But of that success and seeing the national side knock out Italy 6-5 in the quarter-final shootout, he said: “It’s not so easy to watch them playing and being successful, because I know exactly what the feeling is. It’s really sad I can’t take part in it, like two years ago at the World Cup. It is not easy for me but I wish the team the best.

“I know all the players, all the coaches and that they deserve the best. They are the best team at the Euros and deserve to be in the semi-final. There’s a good chance they could win the cup. I’m cheering for them and hope they win but it’s not always easy to watch them playing such successful football from the outside and not being with the team.”

Gundogan is targeting a return from the knee injury in late August and he will wear the No16 shirt at City. His preference was for the No8 but this was worn by Samir Nasri last season.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jamie Jackson, for The Guardian on Sunday 3rd July 2016 23.08 Europe/London

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