Bayern Munich midfielder hails Xavi Hernandez as his idol

Joshua Kimmich of FC Bayern München looks on during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Bayern München and SS Lazio at Allianz Arena on March 17, 2021 in Munich, Germany.

Joshua Kimmich, the Bayern midfielder who is considered one of the bests midfielders in the world at the moment, spoke in an interview with Sportbild. The German international explained the admiration he has for Barca’s legend Xavi Hernandez. “My role model was always Xavi Hernandez from Barcelona,”said Kimmich.

Kimmich told that he learns a lot from the way the Spanish maestro played and spoke at length about different abilities on the field.

“He was never the biggest [in terms of size and popularity] but had an eye for the game, passing, technique. He was always trying to put others in the limelight,” said the 26-year-old.

The admiration is however mutual. The two had met during a training camp in Doha, during which Xavi heaped praises for the German. The Catalan midfielder explained how he got to know about Kimmich from Pep Guardiola and has been following him ever since.

“I spoke to Pep Guardiola, my ex-coach from Barcelona, about [Kimmich],” Xavi said. “Pep said: ‘I have a player in my team who can truly play in any position’. I asked, ‘Who is the boy?’ He said he was talking about someone called ‘Kimmich’, who I had honestly never heard of before,”said Xavi.

The 26-year-old started his career as a midfielder for the rampaging RB Leipzig in the lower divisions after graduating from VfB Stuttgart’s fabled youth academy. However, during his first four seasons, he played as a right-back for Bayern Munich filling the boots of Phillip Lahm. It was during his 30th National appearance for Germany, he was shifted back to the midfield.

Xavi in 2019 revealed that Kimmich thinks of making the move to midfield a permanent one.

“I thought before I met Joshua that he wanted to be a defender. But he’s already told me that he has another big wish. Joshua can play perfectly in midfield as number six,”added the current Al-Sadd coach.

The Barca legend also stated that his versatility is what differentiates Kimmich from himself when asked if he could be the new ‘Xavi’.

“Definitely. He can make the difference. He can be one of the best players in world football in several positions, maybe he already is. That distinguishes him from me: I could play in one position, he’s versatile,” said the Barcelona legend.

Since then, Kimmich has made a successful transition to the midfield winning the Sextuple. He has already bagged 13 assists this season only behind the assist machine Thomas Muller.


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