Eric Maxim Choupo-Motning has returned to the Bundesliga from Paris-Saint Germain to join Bayern Munich. - © imago images
Eric Maxim Choupo-Motning has returned to the Bundesliga from Paris-Saint Germain to join Bayern Munich. - © imago images

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: 5 things on Bayern Munich's new forward

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting has Bundesliga pedigree, turned from a figure of fun to UEFA Champions League hero in the French capital and is considered by Thomas Tuchel good enough to invite to family gatherings, all of which make him the perfect man to slot into Bayern Munich's star-encrusted dressing room. puts Bayern's new signing under the spotlight.

1) Bundesliga pedigree

Although he was most recently with Paris Saint-Germain, Choupo-Moting has a successful Bundesliga past which will stand him in good stead for his return to Germany at Bayern.

The now 31-year-old broke through the ranks at hometown club Hamburg back in 2007, aged just 18. Choupo-Moting made his Bundesliga debut on the opening day of the 2007/08 season, but that was his only campaign in the top-flight with HSV before joining Nuremberg on loan and then scored his first Bundesliga goal - against Bayern, incredibly enough - on August 19, 2009.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored his first Bundesliga goal against none other than Bayern Munich while on loan at Bavarian rivals Nuremberg. - imago images

After his five-goal season in Bavaria, Choupo-Moting returned to Hamburg but never truly broke through into the club's first-team again and duly departed for Mainz - which is where his Bundesliga career began to take shape. Two 10-goal seasons in succession followed before he earned a move to Schalke, where he followed up with nine goals in his first season at the Veltins-Arena.

Choupo-Moting spent three campaigns in Royal Blue, making over 100 appearances in total, and being present when a certain Leroy Sane burst onto the world football scene. At Bayern, Choupo-Moting will be reunited with two former teammates, in fact, as he made 60 appearances alongside Leon Goretkza and 38 with Sane in his time in Gelsenkirchen.

2) Late bloomer

It seems strange to be saying of a man whose two most recent clubs met in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League final that he has not fulfilled his potential, but Choupo-Moting - at 31 - has not had the career you might expect.

After playing for Hamburg, Nuremberg, Mainz, Schalke and Stoke, the first major silverware he picked up was the first of two Ligue 1 titles he won with PSG in 2018/19.

He added the Coupe de la Ligue and French Cup last season as PSG completed a domestic treble, and only missed out on being crowned European champion by the players he has now joined in the Allianz Arena dressing room.

He has never scored more than 10 goals in a league season - but hit exactly 10 twice for Mainz in 2011/12 and 2013/14 - but his teammates, coach and his club's fans can be sure of one thing as soon as he pulls on their shirt: commitment with a capital 'C'.

"Whenever I play, whenever I have the chance to be on the pitch, I give 100 per cent. I just want to show my qualities," Choupo-Moting explained. "There are always people who encourage you, those who are sceptical, those who are positive, those who are negative, it's part of the game."

3) Lisbon lion

Choupo-Moting's PSG story was expected to end in June 2020 when his contract expired, and if it had, he would most likely be best known for a bizarre incident in which he prevented then-PSG teammate Christopher Nkunku - now at RB Leipzig - from scoring in a league game.

Choupo-Moting almost inexplicably stopped the ball going into an open goal, and memes of his mishap went viral. But all was forgiven when he stepped off the bench to keep PSG's UEFA Champions League dream alive last season.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting became the star of Paris-Saint Germain reaching the UEFA Champions League final in Lisbon, ahead of teammate Neymar. - imago images

He had actually been taken off the squad list before the knockout stages with just six months left to run on his contract. But Choupo-Moting signed a two-month extension and was brought back into the squad for the 'Final 8' tournament in Lisbon where he wrote himself a chapter in PSG history.

Trailing 1-0 to Atalanta in the quarter-finals, Choupo-Moting came off the bench to help set up Marquinhos' 90th-minute equaliser before firing home a dramatic winner himself three mintues into added time.

"He has a very positive character, top level," Thomas Tuchel, who had worked with Choupo-Moting at Mainz, said when explaining the surprise decision to recruit his former charge at PSG. "Maxim can have an impact in a minute. He never loses hope and can make a difference coming off the bench."

4) The super-sub

Choupo-Moting went to PSG knowing he would not be first choice, and he arrived at Bayern fully aware that Robert Lewandowski is the number one centre-forward. But that will not worry him one bit.

"That's the role I have here. It's not at all a problem," he had replied when asked whether he was happy to play back-up to Edinson Cavani and then Mauro Icardi at PSG where he made 31 top-flight appearances only 13 of which were starts.

Watch: Choupo-Moting's top 5 Bundesliga goals

"For the majority of games, I'm substitute, but I don't see myself as only a substitute. I'm part of the team. If I only play 20 minutes, I'm happy, because I contribute, I help the team get three points."

That must be music to Hansi Flick's ears…

5) So close, yet…

Choupo-Moting may not have had the fairytale twilight to his career if he and Tuchel had not met in Mainz in 2011. And they probably wouldn't have but for a dodgy fax machine and 12 decisive minutes six months before he got to the OPEL Arena.

Hamburg had agreed to sell him to Cologne in the winter transfer window, but the Billy Goats' fax to the DFL to register their deadline day purchase arrived 12 minutes after the window had closed.

There was another near-miss for him at international level.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Twerking (Moting) first became a Bundesliga star for his moves on and off the pitch with Mainz. - imago images

The son of a former Cameroonian basketballer and a German mother, Eric Maxim played for Germany right up to U21 level before opting to play senior international football for the country of his father.

He opted out of the Africa Cup of Nations 2017 to focus on his club career - the Indomitable Lions lived up to their nickname to be crowned champions. But despite his decision, when Clarence Seedorf took over as coach in August 2018, he named Choupo-Moting his captain.

"He understands what we, the staff, want in terms of a mix of our mentality and the local mentality," explained Seedorf, a four-time UEFA Champions League winner as a player with Ajax, Real Madrid and AC Milan. "In the team, he's the one everyone loves. He also plays well."