The Man City midfielder has made donations to help the needy and say thank you to nurses in Heinsberg County

Ilkay Gundogan has helped set up a shopping service and give thank you packages to nursing staff in an area of Germany badly affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

The Manchester City midfielder has made private donations, which are helping people in the Heinsberg County, a federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia that was among the first to see a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Gundogan, 29, teamed up with the local football association, amateur club SVG Birgden-Langbroich-Schierwaldenrath and a supermarket in Birgden to set up the shopping service.

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The players carry out the shopping and then deliver it to the needy with Gundogan paying for the goods himself.

“In Manchester, I followed the news of the situation in Germany closely. I was struck with the pictures from the particularly badly affected district of Heinsberg. That is why I wanted to start a relief action exactly where the need is greatest,” the Germany international said.

“Thank you to the football club SVG Birgden-Langbroich-Schierwaldenrath, which are supporting me with all the deliveries and can hand them over on my behalf.

“We footballers, whether amateur or professional, must show this solidarity and together support those people who urgently need our help.”

Mathis Burbach, who plays for the amateur club in the eighth tier of German football, was proud to be invited to take part in the project.

“When we got to know the idea around the project with Ilkay Gundogan, we were immediately very enthusiastic,” he said. “For us it is a self-evident fact to help people in this difficult phase.“

Gundogan is also giving support to three hospitals in Heinsberg, while he has also paid for thank you packages to be sent to nurses on the intensive care unit.

Footballers have made a significant impact to help make a difference since the Covid-19 outbreak.

City boss Pep Guardiola, donated €1 million (£920,000/$1.08 million) to help buy medical supplies in the fight against coronavirus in his home of Catalonia.

The Premier League champions also teamed up with neighbours Manchester United to donate £100,000 to foodbanks in the Manchester area in a bid to support them during the crisis.

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