Gündogan: Germany needs leaders from diverse backgrounds

Germany needs leaders from diverse migration backgrounds to accurately reflect today’s society in the country, national team captain Ilkay Gündogan said on Thursday.

Gündogan, whose parents are Turkish, was speaking days after the furore caused by a public broadcaster ARD poll that showed a fifth of Germans wanted more white players in the national team.

– Euro 2024 bracket and fixtures schedule

Coach Julian Nagelsmann, preparing his side for this month’s Euro 2024 on home soil, and several players said the poll had been racist.

“I know that people like me are needed in leading positions because that reflects the new reality of Germany,” Gündogan told Der Spiegel magazine.

“We may look different but we are also German. I know that I can be a role model. But it is not something I want to stress too much.”

The poll, commissioned by ARD, a public broadcaster with rights to Euro 2024 starting on June 14, said that about one-fifth of those questioned wanted more white players in the national team.

“I don’t want to take myself too seriously,” said Gündogan, who was born and raised in Germany and made captain in 2023.

“I did not become team captain because of my migration background. They have nothing to do with each other. It is about how team mates and coaches see you.

“You are only made captain if you are seen and recognised by the team as open, honest and good.”

The broadcaster said a reporter working on an ARD documentary about football and diversity was repeatedly confronted with statements about the make-up of the national team.

Information from Reuters contributed to this report.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *