Weeks after Lionel Messi disappointment, Barcelona fans get consolation with club’s Ilkay Gundogan signing announcement

FC Barcelona is undergoing a significant revamp after being crowned the champions of La Liga in the 2022-23 season.

Veteran players Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba are parting ways with the club after long careers, and the fans’ hopes of seeing Lionel Messi in Catalan colors once again got vanquished after the seven times Ballon d’Or winner decided to join MLS club Inter Miami CF following his contract expiration with Paris Saint-Germain.

It hasn’t been all grim for the Blaugranas, though, as the club announced their first signing of the summer transfer window earlier today.

Barcelona sign Ilkay Gundogan from Manchester City on free transfer

FC Barcelona has now officially announced the signing of the 32-year-old German midfielder, Ilkay Gundogan. The deal has been under speculation for quite some time, but now it has been made official that Manchester City’s treble-winning captain will join the Catalan club on a free transfer.

Gundogan explained that the decision was not an easy one, as he opened up on the transfer on The Player’s Tribune. “If I was going to move, there is only one club in the world that made sense. It was Barcelona or nothing. Ever since I was a little kid, I dreamed of wearing that shirt someday,” he wrote.

“I am confident that I have a few more years left at the highest level, and I just want to help bring Barcelona back to where they deserve to be,” he added.

The ex-Borussia Dortmund player is expecting a lot of pressure at his new club but believes he’s up for the challenge. “I know there’s going to be a lot of pressure at Barcelona. But I love pressure. I love to get out of my comfort zone. I was not looking for an easy landing, I was looking for a new challenge. That’s what this next chapter is all about. I can’t wait to play in the Barcelona shirt,“ he stated.

Messi’s Blaugrana dream smashed by Inter Miami efficiency

Had things gone the right way, Ilkay Gundogan could have been playing together with seven times Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi at Camp Nou. However, the dream remains far-fetched, as the 2022 Ballon d’Or winning captain was effectively lured away with a move to Inter Miami.

Messi himself has openly expressed his desire to return to Catalonia, but he also noted that there are some people who probably don’t want him there. The fact that Messi, who brought Barca tremendous success, won seven Ballons d’Or in Catalunya, and outlasted numerous iterations of some of Europe’s top teams, makes it even harder to imagine.


Messi’s astronomically high wages at Inter Miami, alongside other deals from partners such as Apple, Adidas, and Fanatics, seem to have lured the 36-year-old away from his former club, which in recent times has made the headlines several times for its financial problems.

On top of that, many believe Messi chose to play in the USA over Europe in order to get familiar with the conditions so that he can be well prepared for the upcoming 2024 Copa America and the 2026 World Cup.

How successful do you think Ilkay Gundogan will be in Barcelona? Don’t forget to share your thoughts in the comments section

Tanzeem Rahman

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Tanzeem Rahman is a soccer writer and an editor at SportsZion. Tanzeem's love for the sport began by watching and admiring Cristiano Ronaldo in his early Manchester United days. Having graduated from Germany as an Electrical Engineer, Tanzeem has watched multiple high-profile games throughout Europe from the gallery. His knowledge and enthusiasm for the sport, as well as sublime english proficiency has been an asset to SportsKnot. Outside of his duty, Tanzeem is a gamer, and loves to spend time watching Anime and reading Manga.


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