Referring to Kimmich, everyone immediately remembers an omnipotent player who can take on many different roles, from defender to midfielder. Sometimes people wonder, is the German star a midfielder or a defender after all? It doesn’t matter how you call it. The bottom line is that no matter where he plays, Kimmich finishes brilliantly, making him one of the most comprehensive players in Europe, making any club hungry.
To have an outstanding Kimmich like today, Guardiola’s merit is not small. If Kimmich is compared to a rough stone, nothing more than a toddler arriving at Bayern from Stuttgart, then Pep himself has single-handedly honed that stone into a sparkling diamond. In just 1 season working with Guardiola, Kimmich has been arranged to play in 5 different roles including central defender, right back, defensive midfielder, central midfielder and right winger.
Through the successive generations of coaches, the 28-year-old player was gradually “planned”, reduced to 2 positions as right-back and defensive midfielder. Since the 2019/20 season, Kimmich has been pulled by coach Hansi Flick to play in a defensive midfielder, lasting to this day. Now, Kimmich is rated as one of the best midfielders in the world for Germany. Of course, the beauty of Kimmich is not in his muscular strength or speed, but in his extremely intelligent mind. In other words, Kimmich plays with his head, similar to Barcelona’s Sergio Busquets.
“When I met Pep Guardiola, I was 20 years old and came from the Second Division. He put me in positions that I had never been in, without knowing if I could play. He also showed me. I can see spaces on the pitch that I had no idea before. Having played in many positions, I can know what each teammate wants. It helps me understand the game more easily. Pep always made me know where my teammates stood. When I first came to Bayern, that role belonged to Xabi Alonso and I also learned a lot from him, “confided Kimmich.
Guardiola has “unlocked” Kimmich, and at dawn tomorrow (April 12), he will have to face the “monster” he created, when Man City welcomes Bayern in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-finals. In such a top game, the team that controls the game and controls the midfield will have a great advantage. This is Kimmich’s forte task in the Bayern shirt. In addition to the ability to intercept, recover the ball and control the rhythm of the play as an anchor in the 4-1-4-1 formation, Kimmich also shows the advantage in the construction stage. This season, the midfielder born in 1995 has owned 9 assists after 38 appearances for Bayern in all competitions. If counting the Bundesliga alone, Kimmich is the player with the most dangerous passes for Bayern, with an average of 2.3 times per game.
All this shows that to limit the power of Bayern, Guardiola’s Man City need to limit Kimmich’s influence. The responsibility of “handling” the player wearing the number 6 shirt belongs to the midfield of the Blue Man, with Rodri and Ilkay Gundogan likely to be trusted. It would be a disaster for Man City if they let Kimmich have a lot of space to deploy long or cross-line passes – one of the German players’ extremely powerful weapons.
Having lost training and now have to think about how to cope, Guardiola probably did not want this to happen. However, the Spanish strategist could not do anything else, because it was an important plan to help Man City neutralize Bayern – one of the strongest clubs in Europe at the moment.