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Exclusive: Coman on the future, Pep's impact and a race with Alphonso Davies

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Kingsley Coman (FC Bayern)

Image credit: Getty Images

ByMaxime Dupuis | Pete Sharland
10/04/2020 at 09:07 | Updated 10/04/2020 at 12:22

In an exclusive interview conducted in conjunction with Eurosport France and Eurosport Germany, Bayern Munich superstar Kingsley Coman talks coronavirus, Pep Guardiola and the future…

This summer will mark five years since a teenage Kingsley Coman rocked up in Bavaria ahead of a two-year loan with German giants Bayern Munich from Juventus.

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That sort of move might overawe a young player but not Coman, Bayern were his third European superclub after leaving Paris Saint-Germain to join Juve before his eventual move to Germany.

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At the age of 23 he has established himself as one of the best wide players in world football and a pivotal figure for Bayern in the post-Arjen Robben-and-Franck-Ribery era.

In an exclusive interview with Eurosport, Coman admits he has changed from the kid who arrived at Bayern all those years ago.

“I’ve progressed.” Coman told Eurosport France's Maxime Dupuis. “Physically it's different, I was younger and I had more energy. I'm still not old and I still have pep.

Bayerns Kingsley Coman

Image credit: Getty Images

“But at 18 or 19, I had not yet had an injury, except for small sprains when I was little. With every dribble, I really felt that I could accelerate. Physically, I had no problem.

“Now I am getting older. I have played longer at a high level. When I arrived, I had less playing time and I did not know what it felt like to put together a number of matches in a row, playing every few days as a key player.

Now I know that if I sprint every minute, I will not be able to make 10 matches in a row! It took a lot of maturity, I played a lot of games despite the injuries. I have progressed a lot.

The love Coman has for Bayern is clear, adding that he felt "the confidence of the club" as they "always [were] been behind me” during the numerous injuries he has suffered.

Nevertheless, football is a business and by his own admission: “I don't know what I want in five years so anything is possible.”

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'Bayern is a club where you can do that'

However the goals are clear.

“To stay at the top level and to win the most titles.” And in a fairly telling statement he adds: “Bayern is one of the clubs where you can do that.”

This Bayern team had been pretty impressive before the coronavirus pandemic struck and Coman cites the togetherness of the changing room as one of the reasons the club has been able to cope with the departures of club icons such as the aforementioned Robben and Ribery.

They have big aims too, with Champions League success amongst them, and they smelt blood after holders Liverpool were knocked out by Atletico Madrid.

We said to ourselves that there was something possible because we felt really good. The team that did not seem unbeatable but the favourite in my eyes was Liverpool.

"They themselves were starting to be in a worse shape and had been eliminated. So yeah, we thought there was the possibility. After we know that in two matches, everything can be played but we had good feelings."

Coman wants to finish the season, and reckons that a few weeks will be enough for the players to get back up to speed, adding that it has been nice to get back to training in small groups, something Bayern introduced recently.

Kingsley Coman

Image credit: Getty Images

However, he isn’t paying too much attention to the news, all he wants is for people’s safety to be the top priority, and he trusts that matches will be allowed to resume only when it is safe to do so.

But the desire to complete this campaign is evident:

We have worked a lot and if we stay two or three months without doing anything, the work done now will not have been useful. I really hope we can resume.

HIS BEST COACH?

Coman’s current coach Hansi Flick, someone Coman praises for his man-management, has just signed a new deal but he is just the latest name in an impressive roster of managers the young Frenchman has played for. As well as Flick, Coman has been coached by Jupp Heynckes, Carlo Ancelotti, Pep Guardiola, Max Allegri, Laurent Blanc and Didier Deschamps. But which of that illustrious group has had the biggest impact on him?

“I would say Guardiola,” Coman responds.

Because he is the one who made me start playing a little more regularly even if I had played a few matches at Juve.

"For a player in my position, a winger who likes to hit and provoke, he is the best coach we can have because that is what demands us the most.

He creates systems to have one-on-one situations and it's the system where I can flourish the most. He didn't ask me to have stats. He just asked me to take, hit and centre. And that was what I appreciated very much.

AS QUICK AS MBAPPE BUT DAVIES REIGNS SUPREME

Of course up until recently Coman was the undoubted speed king at Bayern, until Serge Gnabry and then Alphonso Davies arrived. Davies in particular has drawn plenty of plaudits for his electric play so which of the two are quicker?

“It’s him,” Coman replies, “We’ve already done some testing at Bayern, it’s him. If it’s speed in slaloms or turning I think I’m a little faster but in a straight line it’s him.

Coman says he has never timed himself over 100 metres as he feels he is quickest over the first 15, that’s where he gets his advantage.

So then what about him or international team-mate Kylian Mbappe over the first 15 or 20 metres?

“Ah… that’s pretty much the same…”

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