FIFA : 4 MARCH, 2021, 12:25 PM
Ilkay Gundogan’s pride in his Turkish roots and German nationality shines through in the latest instalment of the FIFA PlayOn Podcast, which has a distinctly international flavour.
The Manchester City star is joined in this week’s episode by American rapper French Montana, who also brings a global perspective on music and the beautiful game, with the latter expressing his love of Africa, having emigrated to the USA from Morocco at the age of 13.
The midfielder speaks from the heart about the importance of his family, especially in times of physical separation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and reflects on his upbringing in Germany and his trips to see his grandparents in Turkey as a child.
Gundogan tells the podcast’s host, Universal Music Group’s global chart-topping artist Liam Payne, and his co-host, the sports broadcaster Jaydee Dyer: “Family means everything to me. It’s how I was raised, as I have a Turkish background and went there every summer to see my grandparents.”
“It’s such a tight bond and is so important. That’s why the coronavirus situation right now is probably one of the most difficult times of my life.”
Turkish music that allows him to “think of home” forms part of Gundogan’s selection of six tracks to tell the story of his life, but the 30-year-old, who grew up in Gelsenkirchen, is keen to engage with local communities wherever he is based.
“I feel like I have a responsibility to society, whether it is in Germany, Turkey or even here in Manchester,” says Gundogan, who recently launched a campaign to boost local businesses that are struggling due to the pandemic in his adopted home city.
“I try to identify with the people who are struggling and support them,” he adds.
Gundogan also reveals:
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