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Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan named new Germany captain

A change of armband

Germany Training And Press Conference Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Barcelona midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has been named the captain of the Germany national team ahead of friendlies with Japan and France.

Gundogan takes over from injured goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and says it’s a great honor to wear the armband at international level.

“A big honour to be the new captain of the German national team,” he wrote on social media.

Manager Hansi Flick spoke about his decision to change skipper at a press conference ahead of the two matches.

“We have a change. We thought about it: What would help the team,” he told reporters.

“With the national team it’s usually like this: whoever has the most international matches is also the captain. I decided to give Ilkay the captain’s armband. Together with Joshua Kimmich, this now makes up our leadership duo.

“I’m really happy that both of them have committed to it. This gives us new energy that we can put to good use.”

Flick was obviously then asked what would happen if Neuer returns but said the goalkeeper must regain his fitness first before he worries about the issue.

Neuer’s absence has also been good news for Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The Barcelona goalkeeper now has the No. 1 shirt and made it clear he won’t give up it without a fight.

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