He is a role model for many young players – now international Ilkay Gündogan (29) reveals which footballers he admires most. The midfielder star from Manchester City has set up his dream team, Xtratao Media Sports News Reports.
Surprise: Gündogan’s number one is NOT a compatriot! And this despite the fact that Germany has been famous for its world-class goalkeepers like Manuel Neuer or formerly Oliver Kahn for decades. Claudio Taffarel is in the box in Gündogan’s Dream Team.
“He was Brazil’s national goalkeeper in the 1990s (a total of 101 international caps, ie. Red.). They had an incredible team, he was in the back,” said Gündogan. “Taffarel was also outstanding when Galatasaray Istanbul won the UEFA Cup in 2000. I watched the games of ‘Gala’ a lot in my childhood.” Gündogan’s parents come from Turkey. When Taffarel switched from Atlético Mineiro to Galatasaray in summer 1998, the elementary school student at the time was playing for Schalke’s youth.
Two players in Gündogan’s dream elf are still active today. One of them is right-back Dani Alves. The 37-year-old Brazilian is now under contract with FC Sao Paulo in his home country. The 118-time international celebrated his greatest successes with FC Barcelona, where he played from 2008 to 2016, winning three times in the Champions League.
Alves won these titles together with Lionel Messi. Argentina’s superstar is still magic for Barca and has stormed into Gündogan’s top eleven.
The only German in this world selection is Philipp Lahm. Gündogan knows and appreciates the former Bayern star from shared times with the national team (2011 to 2014). “No matter whether left or right – Philipp has been the best full-back in the world for many years. He was characterized by extremely few mistakes and remarkable ball safety,” says Gündogan.
Central defense, with Paolo Maldini and Alessandro Nesta, are two of Italy’s former defensive aces. Together they played 1227 competitive games for AC Milan.
The midfield line-up is a special matter of the heart for playmaker Gündogan. Barca legend Xavi will be there, completing 769 competitive games (85 goals, 184 assists) for the Catalans. “An incredible constant at six. Technically and tactically, there has never been anything better in this position since I can remember,”enthuses Gündogan.
As a child, he was particularly enthusiastic about Brazil’s former number 10, Kaká, who played for Milan and Real Madrid, among others: “His dynamism, pace and dribbling were unique. He was always a role model for me. I have often tried to imitate his tricks, ”reveals Gündogan. He was also fascinated by the ball control of the former French superstar and today’s real trainer Zinedine Zidane. The 1998 world champion also has a place in the dream eleven midfield.
In addition to Messi, the Attack department consists of two Brazilian mega-stars: Ronaldo and Ronaldinho won the World Cup in 2002 with breathtaking football. Gündogan says of Ronaldo about SPORT BILD: “I would like to know how many Ballon D’Or (trophy for the world football player, red.) He would have won without injuries. I am sure that it would have been quite a few.”
The former super striker from Real, Inter and Milan was named world footballer in 1997 and 2002. Injuries repeatedly plagued him, so he failed due to a patellar tendon tear for over a year (2000 to 2001). Gündogan raves about Ronaldo’s “incredible killer instinct. A nightmare for all lines of defense when he was in top shape.”
Ronaldinho received special praise from the ManCity star: “In his prime he was the most brilliant player ever. And since then, no player has ever managed to enchant the spectators in the stadium with his hack tricks and climbers like Ronaldinho at FC Barcelona. A magician on the ball! ”
Gündogan’s dream eleven: Taffarel, Alves, Nesta, Maldini, Lahm, Xavi, Zidane, Kaká, Messi, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho