Joshua Kimmich is among the world’s elite footballers according to Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. - © DFL
Joshua Kimmich is among the world’s elite footballers according to Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. - © DFL

"Joshua Kimmich is the embodiment of world class" - Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge

Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge believes Joshua Kimmich "is the very embodiment of world class", hailing the Germany international following his return from injury.

The 25-year-old missed eight matches in November and December after hurting his knee in the 3-2 Klassiker victory over Borussia Dortmund on Matchday 7, with Bayern winning four and drawing four in his absence.

Kimmich made his comeback as a substitute on Matchday 13 against Bayer Leverkusen, even setting up Robert Lewandowski to score a last-gasp winner and hand Die Werkself their first defeat of the season.

Watch: Kimmich's midfield masterclass

He has been in the starting line-up in both of Bayern’s Bundesliga games in 2021, registering another assist in the 5-2 victory over Mainz, and going the full distance in the defeat to Borussia Mönchengladbach last Friday.

Despite that loss, Rummenigge has been left in no two minds about Kimmich's importance at Bayern.

"He's got a profound understanding of the game, and is decisive in setting the tempo and providing impetus in our team," said the 65-year-old. "On top of that, Joshua has an unwavering will to win and covers more ground than anyone else."

The numbers do not lie. Kimmich has covered an average of 7.74 miles (12.45 km) per 90 minutes this season, considerably more than any other regular starter in Hansi Flick’s side in 2020/21: Corentin Tolisso is next at 7.40 miles (11.92 km) per game.

Kimmich, pictured here with Rummenigge, has won the Bundesliga five times since joining the club in July 2015. - Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

He was also included in UEFA's official Team of the Season for the 2019/20 Champions League campaign, and it was, after all, his assist that set up Kingsley Coman to score the winner in the final against Paris Saint-Germain.

Not only that, but despite playing in defensive roles in central midfield or at right-back, Kimmich's two goals and six assists this term mean he has been involved in more goals per game (every 82.7 minutes) than anyone bar  Lewandowski (47.04 minutes) and Coman (76.55).

"It is no exaggeration to say that Joshua Kimmich is the very embodiment of world class," Rummenigge continued. "There's only one Joshua Kimmich and we're very glad he plays at Bayern."