Thu, 20/07/23, 16:00
Jamal Musiala: I can and want to be a leader
The 89th minute of the final day of the 2023/23 season in Cologne – a moment that will forever be associated with Jamal Musiala. The attacker took the ball, turned his marker just like only he can, and finished into the far bottom corner to snatch the Bundesliga title for Bayern. But the 20-year-old has already been look ahead to what’s to come next, as he explains in an interview with fcbayern.com. Musiala wants that he and the whole team continue to improve to “help the club win even more titles”. The Germany international also talks about his ambitions, the coming campaign, the Golden Boy award and next year’s European Championship on home soil.
Interview with Jamal Musiala
Jamal, honestly, how often have to had to tell the story of your goal on the final day against Köln?
Jamal Musiala: “Quite often, but I like telling it [smiles]. It motivates me to want to experience more moments like that in my career. Hopefully I can help the club win even more titles.”
What was going through your mind with that last-minute goal in Cologne?
“There were so many emotions, I didn’t know what to do. I just ran around screaming with joy, jumped about [laughs]. It was a great moment for me. It’s even nicer that I could contribute with an important goal that we could in fact be champions. But it doesn’t change anything in how I now train. I’m looking ahead to the new season. We’ve got big goals. Obviously we celebrated the title, but we can play better. Our whole focus is on the new season. We can achieve a lot of things.”
That goal probably secured you legendary status with Bayern fans. But do you think it’s changed your standing within the team?
“My training motivation, my environment, my mentality have stayed the same. My demeanour within the team won’t change because of it either. I always want to give my all and enjoy success together with the team.”
You’re only 20 years old but are already going into your fourth season with the first team at Bayern. To what extent is your responsibility growing within the team?
“My expectations of myself are always high. The more you play, the more responsibility you have. I’ve become more confident over time and back myself to push my teammates and carry them along.”
How would you describe the team structure and your place within it?
“We have experienced players in our team who’ve been through more and also communicate more. For example, there’s Thomas Müller, Manuel Neuer or Joshua Kimmich. They’re leaders who you can always turn to. But every player who’s out on the pitch has his moments to be a leader. We always try to help each other.”
Can you also be vocal or do you prefer to let your feet do the talking?
“I’m someone who doesn’t usually like being the centre of attention. I’ll never be the centre of attention. I’m not normally the loudest person in the room, am somewhat quieter. But on the pitch, when I have an opinion about something or can help somebody, I express myself. I can and want to be a leader, who leads by example with performances and so pushes his teammates.”
Are you the first point of contact for players who’ve stepped up from the Campus to the first team?
“I try to help them on and off the pitch, give them advice. It’s not always easy to find your feet as a young player with the senior side, especially at Bayern. When I was in that position, I asked a lot of questions. It was important for me that I played with confidence and freedom. That’s my strength.“
What goals do you have for the coming season?
“First of all, the most important thing is to start well and come through pre-season healthy. I want to continue to improve compared to last season. That means scoring more goals and providing more assists. I want to find my rhythm again and always be there up front. I just love scoring and setting up goals.”
You’re one of the favourites for the Golden Boy Award. What would such an accolade mean to you?
“When you’re nominated for an award like that, it means you’ve had a very good season. The fact I’m nominated is reward for all the work I’ve done in recent years, but it’s still clear to me that it only works in a team, because you don’t achieve anything on your own in football. Obviously I’d be really happy about the award. There are a lot of top players among the nominees. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is. I want to keep at it.”
Musiala is also nominated alongside Bayern teammate Mathys Tel. You can vote for them now:
You’re already a role model at a young age, also off the pitch. With your Team Musiala Foundation, you want to pass on to children the values that helped you on your way to professional football. How important is that to you?
“There are a lot of children who love football. They need support in their journey. With the foundation, it’s not just about football but also other sports like basketball or their school or career path. It’s about fulfilling dreams. I want to help children on their path.”
You’re all still at the start of pre-season. What are your first impressions? Are you getting to know Thomas Tuchel better now?
“There wasn’t much time when the new coaching staff came in. It was game after game. Now we’ve got more time to work on implementing his ideas. We have to do the supposedly simple things right and effectively – and we have to avoid simple mistakes.”
What needs to happen to maintain form over a long period again?
“Sometimes we had phases in games where we lost our energy. Then it was sometimes hard for us to come back. We have to maintain our concentration and play more simply and retain the ball in the phases where we maybe need to save our energy. The concentration for every move, every pass always has to be at the highest level – and throughout the entire season.”
Next year is Euro 2024 in Germany. How excited are you about that?
“Everyone’s really excited for such a big tournament. It’ll be fun. But now we’re focusing fully on the start of the season so we can find our rhythm again. That’s the same for the national team. We have to win games to gain confidence. Then we’ll hopefully have a good Euros.”
Find out all about the team’s training camp at Tegernsee: