Oliver Batista Meier is "living the dream playing with guys like Robert Lewandowski" at Bayern Munich, but has revealed he's purposefully hiding his roots from Philippe Coutinho.
Batista Meier made the permanent step up to the senior side alongside fellow youth-team players Joshua Zirkzee, Leon Dajaku and Sarpreet Singh towards the end of November 2019, and has been included in the matchday squad twice since.
Although the 18-year-old winger spoke the native languages of his German father and Brazilian mother as a kid, he admits he might have to let his football do the talking in front of Bayern teammate and Brazil international, Coutinho.
"I've forgotten a lot of Portuguese, which I'm a bit upset about," six-time Germany U19 international Batista Meier told SportBild.
"Coutinho still doesn't know I'm half-Brazilian. I don't want him to know because then he'll want to talk to me in Brazilian, and that'll be difficult (laughs), even though I see myself as Brazilian. My German side comes out sometimes, but my technique is perhaps more Brazilian."
Watch: Batista Meier was on the Bayern bench for Coutinho's three-goal, two-assist display against Werder Bremen on Matchday 15
Batista Meier's technical prowess was apparent from the outset of his Bayern adventure. Having joined the Bavarian giants from Kaiserslautern's U17s in the summer of 2017, he went on to produce 33 goals and 19 assists in 41 appearances for the club's various youth teams in 2017/18, and started the ensuing campaign with four goals and five assists from seven U19 Bundesliga outings.
He even trained with the seniors on occasion, before a serious ankle injury stopped him in his tracks.
"I broke my ankle and was out for six months," the teenager recalled. "I'd never been injured before, and this injury was really very tough - but I fought back. I'm happy that I've experienced something like that. Now I know how to deal with it."
Free from injury, Batista Meier didn't take long to rediscover his silky Samba touch in 2019/20. He registered 10 goals and six assists in his first 23 competitive games for the U19s, before answering Hansi Flick's call - eventually.
"I got a call one evening, but I didn't pick up because I hadn't saved Hansi Flick's number yet," he added. "I got a message the next morning asking me to call back, so that's what I did. I was delighted to be promoted to the first team. It's a dream playing with guys like Robert Lewandowski every day."
Batista Meier has been particularly impressed with defensive specialist Joshua Kimmich and midfielder Thiago in training: "There's always something to learn from them in a football-sense, but it's their mentality that makes such a difference."
The Bayern youngster is also feeling the full benefit of the Flick effect. "I like him a lot, I think he can really help the youngsters improve," he said of Bayern's interim coach, who took over from Niko Kovac on 3 November and will remain in charge at least until the end of the current campaign.
"You need a guy who supports young players - I think he's that guy. He talks to us a lot, talks to us one-on-one and tells us what's good and what's not."
That gives him roughly three weeks to brush up on his Portuguese, before Coutinho discovers his big secret...
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