In the build up to the World Cup you’d be expecting everyone in the country to be getting behind the players, apart from certain newspapers of course, but in Germany they aren’t too happy with Ilkay Gundogan.
At Elland Road on Thursday night fans sang songs and chanted the players names and life was good and it felt like Euro 96 all over again as this England team continued the feeling of being a good group of guys enjoying their football.
Of course it’s almost inevitable that they’ll eventually go out to a thumping by Germany or Brazil in the quarter finals, or possibly worse a penalty shoot-out, but let’s enjoy it whilst we can.
For the German’s there a whole different pressure with them already being world champions and being expected to defend the title in Russia this summer.
Gundogan replaces Reus on Friday night. Image: PA Images
You’d have thought then that the fans would be getting behind their players but Ilkay Gundogan found himself being booed every time he touched the ball in the friendly against Saudi Arabia on Friday night.
That’s because the Manchester City midfielder recently referred to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan as ‘my president’ when meeting him. Despite being born in Germany he is of Turkish heritage.
DFB president Reinhard Grindel didn’t exactly defend Gundogan, or Mesut Ozil who was also ‘guilty’ of the same thing, saying, “Football and the DFB defend values which are not sufficiently respected by Mr Erdogan.
“That’s why it’s not good that our international players let themselves be manipulated for his electoral campaign. In doing that, our players have certainly not helped the DFB’s work on integration.“
But speaking to ARD Germany manager Joachim Loew called on fans to stop booing saying, “The fact a national player is booed like that helps nobody. What should Ilkay do now?
“He took a picture, okay, but he has addressed it with the press and underlined his support for German values. The topic has to be ticked off.“
Hopefully heading to Russia will be a good thing for Gundogan.