Borussia Dortmund’s Ilkay Gundogan has reflected on facing Real Madrid next week and on a possible move to Spain in the future.
Dortmund are into the final four of the Champions League n for the first time since 1998 after an impressive European campaign so far, which has already included a win and a draw over next week’s semi-final opponents Madrid.
“Reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League is very important for Dortmund. In fact, nobody made us favourites to advance to the second round in a group that had Madrid and Manchester City,” midfielder Gundogan reflected to AS today.
“All that has happened is a success and we finished the group stage top. The work we have done has been perfect.
“We removed Shakhtar Donetsk [in the Last 16] playing very well and against Malaga, in the quarter-finals, we beat them back at home with a perfect performance.
“The goal we scored in the last minute was phenomenal. Our performance was really remarkable. We try to win until the last minute and we were rewarded.”
Even with this enthusiasm the Germany international is in no doubt about who remains favourites for a place in the final.
“Madrid are one of the best clubs in the world. I think they are the best team in the Champions League, but we have beaten them in the group stages before.
“Undoubtedly, Madrid are playing much better now than they were in the first phase. At that time we showed we could beat anyone and that has left us with a positive mindset.
“We are not worried about playing against Real Madrid. Whatever happens we will try with all our might to reach the Champions League Final on May 25.
“Were we happy to have drawn them again? No, at no time have we thought so. Seriously, we are going to play a game in the semi-final that is very difficult.
“The most important thing is to play against Madrid. It is true that they can beat you at any moment. We are a very strong team, but they will go on to the pitch as favourites.”
This week, suggestions in the Spanish capital were that Gundogan may be on the transfer agenda of Los Merengues.
“I have a contract with Dortmund until June 2015. The club wants to renew. Now we are negotiating this issue, but things are still not clear.
“My goal is to play in England or Spain. No doubt I am happy here but I have a plan for my career. I do not know what will happen in the future.
“But what I know is that I want to play in one of these two countries. I like the style of Spanish football.”