Manchester City captain Ilkay Gundogan has stressed that keeping things simple and repeating the ‘same things’ that have already delivered success will be the club’s best way to win a first Champions League title and complete the treble against Inter on Saturday.
City made it three Premier League titles in a row in May when they reeled in and then overtook long-time leaders Arsenal, before adding the FA Cup with victory over Manchester United at Wembley – Gundogan himself scored both goals in the 2-1 final win, which could be his last game on English soil should Barcelona get their way and sign him as a free agent this summer.
The Champions League final against Inter in Istanbul awaits, with City looking to become only the second English team in history to complete the treble, and the first in 24 years.
Pep Guardiola’s side have come unstuck in the Champions League before by overcomplicating things, while they were also previously stung by an underdog Chelsea side in the 2021 final.
“It is about doing the same things that we’ve been doing for the last two weeks,” Gundogan said.
“We don’t have to do anything special. I think the simplicity of doing our things makes us special. It is about putting effort into the training sessions, prepare as well as possible and go to Istanbul and try to win the game,” he added.
READ THE LATEST MAN CITY NEWS, TRANSFER RUMOURS & GOSSIP
Gundogan also admitted it is only now that City players are starting to think about a treble, with their focus until only recently being mainly on the Premier League title race.
“We were not really talking much about it because we were chasing Arsenal for a long time in the Premier League, so we were mainly focused on trying to win our next game every single time. There wasn’t much timeto think about it,” he explained.
Gundogan, who was named City captain last summer following the departure of Fernandinho, is out of contract at Etihad Stadium at the end of June. Should he not agree a new deal, the Champions League final would be the 32-year-old’s last game for the club.
Barcelona are confident of finalising a deal, although their summer transfer business is dependent on the approval of a plan submitted to La Liga, having struggled to stay compliant with spending rules.
But City are also hopeful that Gundogan will stay in Manchester.
“[Gundogan] knows what I think. Txiki [Begiristain, football director] is working on it. Hopefully he can be successful,” Pep Guardiola said in the wake of the FA Cup final.
Gundogan himself told beIN SPORTS, “I feel very appreciated at the club. I have never been at a football club for seven years. So, I think that shows how much I love this team, the manager and I love this club. We will see what’s going to happen.”
On this week’s edition of Talking Transfers, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders is joined by Toby Cudworth and Graeme Bailey to discuss Harry Kane, Declan Rice, Jude Bellingham, Alexis Mac Allister, Karim Benzema, William Saliba & more!
If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!