Scorer of the most iconic Bundesliga goal in 2022/23, Bayern Munich's title winner last term Jamal Musiala is itching to go again as the defending champions start their engines ahead of a new campaign.
"I just love scoring and setting up goals," the 20-year-old said in a recent interview on Bayern's official website. The young Germany international was involved in a team-high 22 goals, netting 12 times and laying on a further ten as the Bavarian giants reclaimed their title in dramatic fashion last May.
What's more, it was the former England youth's last minute winner against Cologne on the final matchday that brought Bayern Bundesliga title No. 31.
"The goal was an incredible moment for me," Musiala said of his last-gasp strike. "I'm very happy that I could contribute to us becoming champions; it motivates me to want to experience more moments like that in my career. Hopefully I can help the club win even more titles."
Still at such a tender age, yet already facing into his fifth season at Bayern - the club he signed for from Chelsea in 2019 - Musiala is on track to achieve legendary status at the record champions. Yet making small improvements on a personal and a collective level in the coming campaign is what is driving the talented attacker right now, and not his legacy.
"I want to continue to get better compared to last season; that means scoring more goals and providing more assists," Musiala explained. "I want to find my rhythm again and always be there up front.
"I’ve become more confident over time and back myself to push my teammates and carry them along," he continued. “My expectations of myself are always high. The more you play, the more responsibility you have."
Despite winning the championship, Bayern weren't always at their expected best last season. Losing out on the title they had won in the previous ten consecutive campaigns was, at one stage, very real possibility. A change in coach during the season saw Julian Nagelsmann replaced by Thomas Tuchel and it is the former Borussia Dortmund tactician who is now charged with getting Bayern firing on all cylinders again in the season ahead.
“There wasn’t much time when the new coaching staff came in [last season]; it was game after game," Musiala said of the staffing swap. "Now we’ve got more time to work on implementing [Tuchel's] ideas. We have to do the supposedly simple things right and effectively and we have to avoid simple mistakes.
Watch: Jamal Musiala's goals and assists in 2022/23.
"We have to maintain our concentration and play more simply and retain the ball in the phases where we maybe need to save our energy. The concentration for every move, every pass always has to be at the highest level and throughout the entire season."
Although Bayern's youngest player to reach 100 competitive games admitted that he is, "someone who doesn’t usually like being the centre of attention," the team's No.42 was thrust into the spotlight once again for his mesmeric on-field abilities. Recently nominated for the prestigious Golden Boy award - handed out in the autumn - Musiala will be among the favourites for the prize given to the continent's best young player.
"When you’re nominated for an award like that, it means you’ve had a very good season," he said. "The fact I’m nominated is reward for all the work I’ve done in recent years, but it’s still clear to me that it only works in a team, because you don’t achieve anything on your own in football."
On his generally shy nature, Musiala explained: “I’ll never be the centre of attention. I’m not normally the loudest person in the room; I'm somewhat quieter. But on the pitch, when I have an opinion about something or can help somebody, I express myself. I can and want to be a leader who leads by example with performances and so pushes his teammates."
Indeed, the 23-time Germany international has already managed to relay some of his experience to the even younger, more up-and-coming players at Bayern's Säbener Straße base. “I try to help [the young players] on and off the pitch, to give them advice. It’s not always easy to find your feet as a young player with the senior side, especially at Bayern. When I was in that position, I asked a lot of questions."
As they continue to take shape for the defence of their Bundesliga title with some rigorous pre-season workouts, a 12 August Supercup date with RB Leipzig is coming into view. The traditional curtain raiser to the German top flight will be followed by a visit to Werder Bremen six days later as Tuchel's men kick off the Bundesliga season under the Friday night lights.
"We want to have a better season than the last," Musiala explained. "We’ve got big goals. We have a lot ahead of us and have started pre-season well. Obviously we celebrated the title [last term] but we can play better. Our whole focus is on the new season; we can achieve a lot of things," Bayern's gifted attacker concluded.
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