The versatile Joshua Kimmich is undoubtedly one of the most important players in Bayern Munich’s set-up.
The 25-year-old, who played a key role in Bayern Munich’s treble-winning 2019-20 season, will be looking to help the Bavarians win the Club World Cup which has kicked off in Qatar.
Kimmich, who can play in defence as well as midfield with aplomb, has left a German legend in Lothar Matthaus mighty impressed.
While acknowledging that Bayern’s star forward Robert Lewandowski, who won the FIFA Best Player of the Year in 2020, is indeed the team’s best player, Matthaus feels Kimmich is the present and the future of the club.
“The best player in the world is Lewandowski. The best thing FIFA did is giving him the trophy of the best player in the world. In the last few seasons, he has been the perfect player in the perfect team,’ Matthaus, the first-ever FIFA Player of the Year winner in 1991, told Goal.
Matthaus, who represented Germany in five consecutive World Cups in the 80s and 90s, went on to describe Kimmich as a complete player who has the classic ‘German’ mentality.
“Joshua is one of the most important players in German football not only now but also for the future. I see him as a new (next) captain of Bayern, I see him like a new (next) captain of the national team. He has the German mentality.
“He is always giving his best. He is a winner. He can defend, attack, give the last pass, give the cross, score, plays with passion. He has a lot of quality and he is just 25 so it is fantastic.”
Kimmich will next be seen in action at the Club World Cup, currently underway in Qatar when they take on African champions Al Ahly in the semifinals on Monday.
Matthaus feels that Bayern Munich are the favourites for the global crown, especially since the team know the facilities in Qatar very well, since they normally base their winter training camp in the middle-east nation.
“The tournament is very important for FIFA and football worldwide, it is where the continental champions play against each other. Bayern are the champions of Europe and are the favourites for the tournament.
“They have the pleasure to play in a country that they know. They know the climate, the atmosphere, the way from the hotel to the stadium and it is always a good feeling for the players. But I think it is not a big difference against other teams. It is good for Bayern to go to a place they know,” he stated.
Bayern are currently leading the Bundesliga comfortably with a 13 point advantage over their nearest rivals RB Leipzig and look set for another trophy-filled season. Matthaus felt the current team cannot be compared to the past successful teams but felt they are definitely among the strongest Bayern Munich teams ever.
“It is very difficult to compare teams from 10 or 20 years ago. At this moment, Bayern have one of the strongest teams ever in the history of Bayern football. Maybe the best team ever, but I really cannot tell it is better than the team of (Franz) Beckenbauer and (Oliver) Kahn.
“The team is very strong, everything is working well and not only on the field. Around the club, everything is perfect and organized, everyone is working for the best result. The coach (Hansi Flick) and team work very well together, they understand each other.”