'Mr. Choupo' in the form of his life
At first glance, it's surprising to find "artist" listed under the name of a professional footballer's profile page instead of the more usual "athlete". But a second look at the Instagram page of "mr.choupo", which has more than a million followers, is telling.
Because what Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has achieved at FC Bayern so far in the 2022/23 season is certainly truly eye-catching, and something that will be remembered for a long time to come.
850 minutes on the pitch in the Bundesliga, DFB Cup and Champions League with 11 goals and three assists are a powerful statement, and include magnificent strikes like the long-range thunderbolt into the top corner that put his side 2-0 up against Inter Milan.
"I know what I can do and I know that I can help the team a lot. I'm happy with my goals, assists and my game in general," the 33-year-old said afterwards.
Confidence grew steadily
He was needed up front and instantly in the form of his life. The confidence of our number 13 grew with every goal, and he scored even in the most impossible situations.
At the start of the season, "Choupo" was still out injured, so his first appearance in this Bundesliga season wasn't until Matchday 6. Since then, coach Julian Nagelsmann has played him at every opportunity.
From Matchdays 10-15, the striker started six games in a row, scoring six goals in that period. The team regained the top spot in the Bundesliga, reached the round of 16 in the DFB Cup and kept a perfect record in the Champions League.
Performance makes an impression
"It's just great to see him like this. He can do exactly what we need right now," said board member for sport Hasan Salihamidžić. Bayern Legend Stefan Effenberg also enthused: "He's shown he's there when you need him and works at the touch of a button. Bayern recognised that he deserves and needs playing time." You can always depend on him: "You can see the joy in his face, he's an absolutely positive character."
It's escaped no-one's notice that Choupo-Moting has perfected his game and uses his strengths efficiently. He puts in the legwork and consistently makes lots of runs, as a centre-forward he can hold onto the ball and employ his technical skills to good effect, and is also fully committed to getting back to defend. A modern centre-forward who was and is simply good for FCB.
Maiden goal at a World Cup
He continued his run with Cameroon at the World Cup in Qatar. In a 3-3 draw against Serbia, Choupo-Moting scored the much-acclaimed equaliser in the 66th minute after a brilliant fightback by his team.
In the end, Cameroon didn't make it to the last 16 despite a win against Brazil, but Choupo-Moting, following goalless appearances in 2010 and 2014, was able to go on holiday with a sense of achievement after scoring his first World Cup goal.
Recharging the batteries is urgently recommended, because according to CEO Oliver Kahn we're in the "toughest season ever" with the break in the season due to the World Cup. He already knew in the summer: "To be able to maintain the level, we'll need a squad with strength in depth."
Choupo-Moting will continue to be an integral part of it all and may also perform one or two "Afrobeat" victory dances for us. The challenges remain as great as the ambitions.
Pack ma’s, Choupo!