İlkay Gündoğan reflects on Germany’s ruthless performance against Scotland

Germany were able to kickstart their Euro 2024 campaign in style with a spellbinding 5-1 victory over Scotland at the Allianz Arena. With goals from Florian Wirtz, Jamal Musiala, Kai Havertz, Niclas Füllkrug, and Emre Can, the hosts proved that they possess quality in a multitude of areas. 

However, central to everything positive that Julian Nagelsmann’s side were able to create was captain İlkay Gündoğan. The Barcelona midfielder, who certainly had his fair share of critics prior to kick-off, was determined to show why he could be Germany’s main man in this tournament. 

Gündoğan was a consistent threat to the Scottish backline for ninety minutes, and while he was unable to add his name to the scoresheet, with remarkable movement and an excellent understanding with his fellow front three, the 33-year-old was phenomenal. Speaking to ZDF after the final whistle, Gündoğan commented on his performance as well as proving the doubters wrong:

“It’s always good to play a good game as a team. If you can contribute something to it with your own actions, it’s even better. I’m confident enough to say that I know what I can do, and I always try to do it as best as I can. I’m glad that I was able to make my teammates better today, but now it’s all about not taking one step back.” 

The 33-year-old also discussed Germany’s performance and whether they had sent a message to the other sides in the competition: 

“Because we played with great intensity right from the start and applied pressure. The ball moved really well; we played in the right spaces, took risks, and scored the goals that way. We played an incredibly good first half.”

“We wanted to start the same way, and we needed that start. I had a really good feeling before the game, and luckily that turned out to be true, but that’s exactly the mood and the euphoria that we need to go far. Nevertheless, the goal we conceded showed that all teams have quality and that small inattentiveness can be punished very quickly.”

With Nagelsmann’s side now set to face Hungary on June 19, they will know that a similar performance should ensure their progression to the knockout stages.

GGFN | Will Shopland

Get Football+

More European Football News