Former RB Leipzig teammates Diego Demme (l.) and Joshua Kimmich (r.) are set to renew acquaintances when Bayern Munich head to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday. - © imago/Christian Schroedter
Former RB Leipzig teammates Diego Demme (l.) and Joshua Kimmich (r.) are set to renew acquaintances when Bayern Munich head to the Red Bull Arena on Saturday. - © imago/Christian Schroedter
bundesliga

"Winning mentality, mind games and watching Xavi on YouTube" - RB Leipzig's Diego Demme on Joshua Kimmich

Diego Demme knows exactly what to expect from former RB Leipzig and Germany teammate Joshua Kimmich when Bayern Munich visit the Red Bull Arena on Saturday.

Demme joined Leipzig from Paderborn in January 2014, and was joined at the club 18 months later by a then 20-year-old Kimmich.

The two played together on the pitch and spent time together off it, before Kimmich moved to Bayern at former coach Pep Guardiola's behest in summer 2015.

Four years on, Kimmich is a four-time Bundesliga champion and regular Germany international. Demme's lone international cap came alongside Kimmich in a 7-0 win over San Marino in June 2017, but he harbours little jealousy about his friend's inexorable rise.

Kimmich (l.) has 44 international caps with Germany to Demme's (r.) one, but the latter has no ill will towards his former Leipzig teammate. - imago/Christian Schroedter

"He exudes an unbelievable sense of calm in all situations, and finds solutions at the drop of a hat," Demme told 11Freude ahead of Leipzig's showdown with the defending champions.

"Even under pressure and in tight challenges, he still manages to find a man. It's so impressive.

"He's also got a serious winners' mentality."

Kimmich has used his unparalleled drive to reach the pinnacle of the game. The 24-year-old has two DFB Cups and three Supercups to go with his four Bundesliga title wins, is a 44-time Germany international, and is widely regarded as one of the best right-backs in world football.

Watch: Joshua Kimmich under the tactical microscope

In Bayern's last two league assignments and Germany's previous 12 internationals, however, he has been deployed in his preferred defensive midfield role.

It is the position he typically played at Leipzig, and one which Demme believes suits the Bayern terrier well.

"He's become more of a goal threat and has got a lot of assists since moving to right-back, but he can direct the game from midfield," the Leipzig man explained.

"We were always swooning over midfielders back in the day. We used to watch clips on YouTube before matches, I'd watch Andrea Pirlo and he'd watch ones of Xavi."

When not playing for real or learning from the best on YouTube, Demme recalls how he and Kimmich used to spend time at the table football bar in Leipzig.

"We didn't really party, but that was our favourite haunt - there was so much banter.

"We were technically nowhere near as good, but Jo used to play mind games with the pros. He'd be chatting away and cracking jokes during games. It helped us win the odd match."

Demme has been on Leipzig's books since they were a third-division side. - 2018 DFL

Assuming both play, Saturday's meeting between league leaders Leipzig and second-in-the-table Bayern will be the seventh time Demme and Kimmich have faced off.

Kimmich, who has so far racked up 116 Bundesliga appearances to Demme's 91, leads the head-to-head five to one.

"He just can't stand losing," said Demme.

"Even when I wanted to spend a bit of time in the spa, he'd be shooing us to go up mountains again.

"It's like he's got ants in his pants - but he's always having a laugh with it."