Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan will captain Germany, manager Hansi Flick confirmed on Friday, nine months before the country hosts Euro 2024.
Gundogan skippered Premier League and European champions Manchester City during the 2022/23 campaign before leaving for La Liga.
The 32-year-old will wear the German captain’s armband during Saturday’s international friendly against Japan in Wolfsburg.
In the absence of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who fractured his right leg during a skiing accident in early December 2022, Flick had opted for Joshua Kimmich as captain for friendly matches in March and June.
“It gives a new energy, which we can use,” explained Flick of the “leadership duo” he was aiming to create between Gundogan and 28-year-old Bayern midfielder Kimmich.
“I’m delighted with this vote of confidence. It’s a great honour for me to guide this still young team,” said Gundogan, adding he was aware of the “responsibility” that went with guiding the four-time world and three-time European champions.
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