Former Bayern Munich midfielder Xabi Alonso has heaped praise on ex-teammate Joshua Kimmich following the club’s treble success in 2019/20, saying he could “play for any team in the world”.
He is now coach of the reserves at hometown club Real Sociedad in Spain, but retains strong ties to Bavarian capital, where he won three Bundesliga titles and the DFB Cup.
Watch: Alonso's top 5 Bundesliga goals!
“I’ve still got a lot of friends there,” the Spaniard said in an interview with German broadsheet Süddeutsche Zeitung. “When the [Champions League finals] tournament started we could all see the incredible run the team were on and we thought ‘they can win it’.”
Kimmich was an integral part of the team that ultimately fulfilled that objective, switching from his preferred position in central midfield to fill in for the injured Benjamin Pavard at right-back.
In addition to performing his defensive duties with characteristic bite, the 25-year-old scored one and grabbed an assist in the 8-2 quarter-final thrashing of Barcelona – a result Alonso described as being “in the category of ‘incomprehensible’. I don’t just mean the margin of victory, but Bayern’s superiority, their dominance. And to do it in such an important match, too.”
All of which left Alonso, like countless others around the world, seriously impressed by the Germany international’s displays.
“He’s learned incredibly quickly," he said. "He’s found his role in the team and has matured. He’s now at a level where he could play for any team in the world.”
Watch: All of Kimmich's goals and assists in 2019/20
While Kimmich could undoubtedly walk into any side – Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho recently added his name to the player’s ever-growing list of admirers – he is currently on a well-deserved break, before resuming pre-season training with Bayern ahead of their opening 2020/21 Bundesliga fixture at home to Schalke on 18 September.