Ilkay Gundogan admitted it is a “big honour” after he was named as the new captain of the Germany mens national team.
Manuel Neuer, the former captain, remains sidelined as he is not yet 100 per cent match-fit after he suffered a severe skiing accident in January. While the goalkeeper has not officially retired from international football, manager Hansi Flick has picked his successor in veteran midfielder Gundogan.
The footballer took to social media to share his excitement and wrote: “A big honour to be the new captain of the German national team.”
Get Instantly Update By: Joining Our Whatapps and Telegram Channel
Flick announced that Gundogan along with another veteran Joshua Kimmich will form the leadership duo.
“We have a change. We thought about it: What would help the team,” he told reporters before facing Japan in a friendly.
“With the national team it’s usually like this: whoever has the most international matches is also the captain. I decided to give Ilkay the captain’s armband. Together with Joshua Kimmich, this now makes up our leadership duo. I’m really happy that both of them have committed to it. This gives us new energy
that we can put to good use,” he said.
When quizzed if Gundogan will continue to be the skipper when Neuer would be fit and available the manager was crafty with his answer.
“The situation with ‘Manu’ is like this: He has to get healthy first. We hope he’ll be back soon, but I’m not worried about that at the moment,” he said.
Gundogan will walk out on the pitch with the armband for the first time against Japan on Saturday in a friendly.