Kingsley Coman, Interview, FC Bayern

Kingsley Coman: I'm giving everything to become a legend

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Kingsley Coman moved into a special top 10 for FC Bayern this season: only nine non-German players have been here longer. Summertime is transfer time – 'King' explains what makes the German champions so special.

The interview with Kingsley Coman

Kingsley, what's your assessment of a season in which not everything went as smoothly as in previous years?
"It was tricky, put it that way. It's no secret we wanted to achieve more, particularly in the cup. The elimination against Manchester City can be excused. City have just been in incredibly good form this year, you have to acknowledge. The most important thing is that we were German champions again in the end, and next year we'll try to collect more titles."

Kingsley Coman, Interview, FC Bayern
Using his head: The most important goal of his career was a header – the winner in the 2020 Champions League final.

You've lifted the Schale every year since you've been here – and before that you also claimed the title with Juventus. What does that mean to you?
"You obviously can't compare your first title win with the 10th or 11th. With the first you burst with joy, but I enjoy them more now because I feel like an important member of the team and that I've contributed to it. When I retire I want to be able to say that I've been champion every year – that's a big motivation for me."

What generally needs to be better in 2023/24?
"Quite simple: we have to win more games. In the first half of the season we played very well, but after the World Cup we suffered a drop. You can't afford that at our level. In the second half of the season in particular, it's about being physically and mentally sharp. We have to try to keep our level consistently high,."

You have to keep your chin up – the Bayern mentality has become a key part of my character.

Kingsley Coman

And what are your personal ambitions for the new season?
"To win more titles and be more present over the whole season. I think I was in much better form in the second half of the season than in the first, but unfortunately things didn't go as well for the team overall. If I'm equally good in both parts of the season and I contribute to us performing at the highest level as a team, it's a successful season."

You're now in the top 10 of international stars who have been at Bayern the longest. Would you have believed that when you came in 2015?
"I can't believe I've been here eight years already. It makes me proud. I've continually asserted myself and also fought back from a number of injuries. To play a role at a club like FC Bayern for such a long time was always my dream, and I've constantly developed. You have to keep your chin up – the Bayern mentality has become a key part of my character."

Kingsley Coman, Interview, FC Bayern
A kingdom for the King: 'I know almost everybody at Säbener Straße by now. It's like a family.'

How would you describe this mentality?
"It's just about always wanting to win. The next game is all that counts, we have hardly any time to enjoy. You can only enjoy yourself at FC Bayern when you've won titles at the end of the season. But that's the appeal, that's why I play football."

What advice would you give today to the young King on his first day at Bayern?
"I would tell him that a great journey and challenges are ahead of him, but if he believes in himself and cuts his own path, as he's always done, it'll be amazing."

Who helped you the most to settle at Bayern at the start?
"Luckily there were a few. Franck Ribéry, along with David Alaba, took me in like a big brother. I had a great relationship with David from the start – even though I barely understood what he said. (laughs)"

Kingsley Coman, Interview, FC Bayern
Pure 'Mia san mia': No 'understatement' necessary at FC Bayern, says Coman.

Who did you look up to most as a young player?
"I was a fan of Ronaldinho, he was my biggest idol. When I started playing, I tried to do everything like him."

You now stand on a list with stars such as Franck Ribéry, Arjen Robben, Sammy Kuffour – players who completely identified with FCB and are loved by the fans to this day. Is that the kind of legacy you want to leave behind?
"Those are special names, who show what FC Bayern is about. And yes, I'd like to be remembered in that way. It's my ultimate goal to leave a mark on the club in the way that these players did over many years. I want to be able to say of myself that I played at the highest level for many years and touched the fans – with my game and as a person. That's the attitude I work with."

I want to be able to say of myself that I played at the highest level for many years and touched the fans – with my game and as a person.

Kingsley Coman

Your contract runs until 2027. If you fulfil it, you'll be the longest-serving non-German player ever at Bayern – and a legend...
"Oh, I wasn't aware of that – but it sounds good! Also, I deliberately signed such a long contract because I see myself at FC Bayern for a long time and will keep giving everything to become a legend of this club."

Thomas Müller says his heart is redder than red – yours too?
"Thomas is Thomas, he's a one-off. He's a child of this club and has never been anywhere else. I played at other clubs before and I'm French, but I would say I'm happily the most Bavarian of the foreign players at Bayern."

Kingsley Coman, Interview, FC Bayern
Keep smiling: Coman has also fought back from injuries time and again.

How important in your view are identity and loyalty to a club, particularly in the modern age?
"Sadly they're becoming increasingly rare. I can understand players who want to leave a club because they're not happy there or they want to try something new, but many forget that you shine most of all through your team – and something like that has to develop. For me it's important to build up strong connections to teammates, staff, the whole club. FC Bayern is like a family to me. I know almost everybody and every face at Säbener Straße by now and I find that much nicer than having to constantly develop new connections."

Now it's the summer, transfer time. How can FC Bayern attract international stars?
"FC Bayern aren't dependent on understatement here. Every professional footballer in the world respects this club and its success and history. Bayern are among the top, top clubs that have won everything and can win everything every year. On top of that, the city is wonderful and attractive. A lot of players want to come here, which is good."

Kingsley Coman, Interview, FC Bayern
A stalwart for the Reds: Kingsley Coman moved to Munich in 2015 – and has been a champion every year since.

Another thing that characterises FC Bayern is that top international players feel at home here – why is that?
"You sense that everyone in the club is always there for you and will also help out with personal matters. You're shown a huge amount of respect here as a player and we want to give that back. It's no accident that there are so many non-German players like Ribéry, Robben and Javi Martínez who have stayed here for many, many years – perhaps even longer than they could've imagined themselves to start with."

You now give your interviews in German. How's the Bavarian coming along?
"Unfortunately I have to pass there. German is hard enough and it took me a really long time to master it. I concentrate on what I can do, although I do have one favourite Bavarian sentence, which I learned from the physios: 'I bin miad.' ['I'm tired.'] (laughs)"

© Images: Julian Baumann

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