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‘A different world'

Kimmich: My debut was fun

When Joshua Kimmich emerged from the dressing room for training on Monday morning, it was in the company of Pep Guardiola: the other players had already been on the pitch for some time. The youngster’s talk with the coach in the performance centre had taken a bit longer than expected. There was plenty to discuss, after all: a dream had come true for Kimmich on Sunday afternoon.

The gifted 20-year-old had played for FC Bayern for the first time in a competitive fixture – as part of the starting line-up. “It was fun, even if it wasn't our best performance,” said Kimmich, looking back at the 3-1 victory after Monday’s regeneration session. “I was pleased to play from the beginning.” The Germany U-21 international still appears a little shy when he is talking. But this is what makes Rottweil-born Kimmich so charming.

“I want to learn as much as possible, to adapt, to approach the high quality step by step,” explained the new signing from Leipzig, modest to a tee. Guardiola previously entrusted Kimmich with a starting berth in the Audi Cup semi-final against AC Milan, but the youngster had to be substituted early on due to a bruised thigh. Five days later he was back, playing alongside Arturo Vidal in defensive midfield in Karlsruhe’s Wildparkstadion.

‘It boosts your confidence'

Guardiola has great faith in Kimmich. “This boy will play many matches for Bayern Munich,” the head coach declared. The midfielder is naturally flattered by such words. “It boosts your confidence and makes you want to continue to work hard,” he commented. However, Joshua is realistic in his assessment of the current situation. “I know I'm at the beginning of my career and have to work for everything I want.”

The 20-year-old stressed that he appreciates every minute he is on the pitch: “It’ll take time to get used to the high level at Bayern. I'm learning in every match, in every training session,” he said, “we only have world-class players, so you can learn a lot from everyone here.” He was reluctant to compare FCB to his former club Leipzig: “It's just a different kind of world.”