By 90Min
November 10, 2017

Manchester City and Germany midfielder Ilkay Gundogan has suggested that some kind of wage cap might be beneficial to today's young footballers, prompting them to work harder and not be distracted by buying the material goods that big early contracts would afford them.

Emerging talents can easily find themselves on bumper contracts by the age of 18, earning more money than they know what to do with or how to handle.

Gundogan, who is back with the German national team this month after completing his recovery from a long-term knee injury, explained to SportBuzzer that he has always been a more humble type, something that he owes to his sensible upbringing.

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"My parents really took care that I did not get a fast car right after my first professional contract, or an expensive watch or designer clothes. I also had inhibitions about doing that," he said.

"I'm really not a fan of going from zero to 100 right away."

A maximum wage for all players existed in England until 1961, and Gundogan wonders if the principle could be resurrected to help young players learn to walk before they start running.

"Why not say that a player is only allowed to earn a certain amount until he is 20 - as I believe happens in the United States?" he suggested.

"In general, it would certainly not hurt and would go good for the youth too. In some cases teenagers are attracted by bigger clubs with money when it would be better to stay put and develop."

Having started his career in the youth setup at Bochum, Gundogan has no doubt that his parents would have been in control of his money had he been earning vast sums at too young an age, admitting that he was given 'pocket money' from his salary back then.

"My parents would certainly have denied me access to the money," he said. "At that time I got €180 pocket money, which was already a lot. Then suddenly I had €3,000 [in wages], of which almost half went to a savings account. Luckily I learned to handle money right from the start," the 27-year-old added.

"It was not until I was at Nuremberg [from age 19] that I treated myself to expensive clothes and a bigger car because of my salary - I'm a little proud of that. I can say that I've never been crazy or irresponsible. I owe that to my education."

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