Manchester City’s Ilkay Gundogan donates his Premier League bonus to childhood club in Germany

Gundogan will put in the vast majority of the money being paid by Hessler 06 for a new artificial pitch.

Gundogan spent a decade at Hessler 06 before moving to Bochum’s academy and then into the professional ranks. He later joined Nurnberg and then Borussia Dortmund in 2011. He was Pep Guardiola’s first signing at City in 2016.

“We are still very closely connected to the club, because we spent large parts of our childhood here,” Gundogan’s manager and uncle Ilhan said, “When Ilkay heard that many children were withdrawing because there was no artificial pitch, it hit him hard.” 

Gundogan’s donation will see the midfielder give away nearly most of the bonus he received from his current club with the 30-year-old helping the English club win their fifth Premier League title of the decade. Hessler 06 require around 650,000 euros to complete the purchase and installation of a new pitch. The German midfielder is expected to donate 300,000 euros and cover most of the costs required by Hessler 06 towards the project. Local authorities in Gelsenkirchen are set to contribute the remaining 350,000 euros.

“Without Ilkay, we would not have been able to start this project,” said club chairman Rainer Konietzka.

Gundogan is currently preparing for the 2020 UEFA European Championships with Germany. The German international was a key player in Guardiola’s Manchester City team as finished the season as City’s highest scorer with 13 goals and also chipped in with 2 assists in 28 matches in the 2020/21 Premier League season.

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