Several players support Barcelona veteran as he criticizes teammates for PSG defeat

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Barcelona's German midfielder #22 Ilkay Gundogan (C) and teammates arrive to a training session on the eve of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match against Paris SG at the training center in Barcelona on April 15, 2024.
Photo by JOSEP LAGO/AFP via Getty Images

The arrival of Ilkay Gundogan from Manchester City in the last summer transfer window was a real coup for FC Barcelona, especially considering their weak financial position.

The German’s arrival not only significantly improved the team’s standard on the pitch, but also provided the squad with a leader who has been playing at the highest level for years now, and who won everything possible with Manchester City only in the last season.

However, Gundogan’s leadership style is not always easy to bear, as he does not usually bite his tongue when he feels the team has not played up to his expected standards. He publicly criticized his teammates after the loss to Real Madrid earlier in the season, and did so once again after Barcelona were eliminated from the Champions League last night.

Without taking any names, Gundogan clearly made his feelings known on who was responsible for the loss in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, as he clearly mentioned the sequences of play that cost Barcelona the game.

According to Diario AS, as opposed to the situation that happened after his team’s criticism earlier in the season when he had to justify his words in the Barcelona locker room, this time the reaction of the team to his words has not been as forceful. In fact, more than one player has already supported Gundogan’s point of view.

Still, it remains to be seen how the players condemned by the German will react to the criticism in the coming days. Ronald Aruajo, whose red card turned the balance of the game in PSG’s favor, was one of the players clearly criticized by Gundogan, while Cancelo and Lewandowski were also not spared.

Thus, Gundogan’s statements can cause a rift in the Barcelona locker room, and with the crucial La Liga match against Real Madrid just around the corner, the German’s words can cause the team more harm than good, irrespective of his intentions.

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