“He is already a little club legend”… Kingsley Coman, discreet taulier of the Bayern institution

FC Hollywood, very little for him. We grant you, it’s been a while since this nickname, inherited from the Effenberg and Matthäus era in the mid-90s, has no longer been used at Bayern Munich (although…). But he summons enough memories to get where we wanted to: Kingsley Coman represents almost everything that the Bavarian club was no longer really at that time, namely a well-run institution, keeping all its energy for its quest obsession with national and European trophies.

A “simple” guy

To take an interest in the life of the French winger in Munich is quickly to hit a wall. “What we see of him during the matches is enough to tell what he is,” says Ali Farhat, a journalist based in Germany for nine years. There’s nothing special to say apart from, he’s a very discreet guy, you never see him hanging out from right to left. »

Even Obktoberfest, an ancestral tradition in Bavaria and an important event for all members of the club, does not seem to fascinate him more than that. “The first year he was there [2015], we had seen him leave on the sly, very early, ”says our colleague. It hasn’t necessarily been like this every year, but it paints the character. For photos doing the horn in lederhose (the famous skin pants reaching the knees, if possible with the straps that fit well), we will rely instead on Thomas Müller (pronounced “Moullaaaaaa”, of course).

The unmistakable Thomas Müller at the Oktoberfest in Munich, in October 2019. – People Picture/Willi Schneider/REX/SIPA

“He is an atypical, a charming boy, who is not going to talk at all costs or seek to put himself forward on social networks, to push the marketing side, describes Laurent Bonadei, one of his trainers at PSG. This is perhaps what sets him back compared to other top players, by the way. If he showed off more, he would surely be seen differently. But for me, it’s all to his credit. He has other passions than football, without needing the whole world to know about it. He knows how to keep it simple. »

Player Council Member

In eight years at the club, we have never heard him make a sensational statement or complain about his positioning, he who has seen the four corners of the field. Coman still had his little heat strokes, like the time he came to blows with Robert Lewandowski in training, or when he showed up at Bayern Campus, the club’s brand new training center German, in a car of a brand other than Audi, the official sponsor.

Just enough to prove that he is not a shadow either who would spend his time shaving the walls. Because the Francilien is enormously respected internally, so much so that he is now part of the players’ council, with the pillars Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. Which does not surprise his former mentor, now deputy to Hervé Renard at the head of Saudi Arabia:

In youth, he was one of the three or four referent players. He already had a good sense of reflection, he was able to be proactive, to bring his experience. He is no longer a young player today and I think he can be good advice. He has credit at this club, and it is deserved. He is not the type to shy away from any responsibility. »

When it took an effort to finalize his contract extension, signed after a few months of negotiations at the start of last year until 2027, the leaders were persuaded with good grace. “It was really important to them, assures Georg Holzner, who follows Bayern for the newspaper Kicker. They are aware that he is an essential player, undoubtedly the best in the squad when he is in top form. »

We come here to what makes the strength of the King: the terrain. Despite his incessant back and forth to the infirmary (40 injuries listed since 2015 by the transfermark websiteincluding five that kept him away from the pitch for at least two months), Coman conquered his world with his dazzling, speed, dribbling and consistency.

“Not adored like Ribéry”, but…

“For me, he is one of the two or three best wingers in the world,” praised his coach Julian Nagelsmann again last week. At the club, he is in any case perceived as the number 1, whether on the right or on the left, in front of Leroy Sané, Serge Gnabry or Sadio Mané. He also scores goals that count double, for example against PSG.

“His goal in the C1 final in 2020 makes him already a little club legend,” said Georg Holzner. The fans respect him a lot. He is perhaps not adored as Franck Ribéry was, because he does not have the same character, but they know everything he brings. And then you never know, if he still scores a lot of goals in big games, he can still achieve this status. »

Since the return of the World Cup, Coman is in full swing in any case. Double scorer in Wolfsburg in February, man of the match at the top against Union Berlin 10 days ago (a goal and an assist), it was still him who brought down his training club in the round of 16 first leg at the Parc des Princes. And despite all the affection he still has for him, he won’t hesitate if the opportunity arises during the second round on Wednesday. Because Coman has found “a family” in Bavaria, as he said during his extension. In less snoring, a club that corresponds perfectly to what it is.

“It’s a big institution, with a clear functioning, a respected hierarchy, and players at the service of the club with a lot of esteem for what has been done before. Kingsley is a player like that. He never balks, and these clubs know how to value him”, appreciates Laurent Bonadei, who always sends him a few messages, “especially when things are not going so well”. It must be a while since Coman heard from him.

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