Kingsley Coman: 10 things on Bayern Munich's Champions League final hero
With a trophy haul to make a seasoned pro weep with envy - as well as talent to burn - Bayern Munich's Kingsley Coman has already had an exceptional career at just 26.
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the France international, who - since the departures of Bayern legends Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben in 2019 - has been playing a central role for club and country and scored the winner in the 2020 UEFA Champions League final against old club Paris-Saint Germain.
1) Serial winner
If Dani Alves is the most decorated player in the game, Coman is already well-placed to overtake the Brazilian. The Bayern attacker has an incredible record of having won league titles in every single season he has played as a professional, starting with PSG's 2012/13 Ligue 1 triumph. By the end of the 2022/23 season, Coman had won 11 league championships across France, Italy and Germany, and he has collected 20 trophies with Bayern alone. His header against his former employers in the 2020 showpiece also sealed his first Champions League trophy on a memorable night for the Parisian.
2) Paris born and bred
Well, almost! A postcode snob in the French capital might not say that, but Coman did grow up in the Parisian suburbs. He played briefly with local club Sennart-Moissy before linking up with PSG at the age of just nine – his father supported the French giants and his winner in Lisbon may have divided the family living room.
"He's talented, complete and very intelligent," said France's Under-17 coach Patrick Gonfalone in 2012, when Coman was just 16. “His reading of the game and his technique stand out and make him formidable. There’s nothing left for him at U17 level. He’s playing at U19 level for his club, and is already the best player.”
3) Prodigy with a capital P-SG
When most of us were concentrating on our history homework, Coman was making it. At 16 years, eight months and four days, he replaced Marco Verratti three minutes from time in PSG's 3-2 defeat at Sochaux in a Ligue 1 fixture in February 2013. In so doing, he became the French champions' youngest ever debutant. It was supposed to herald a great career at the Parc des Princes for Coman, but he featured in only two further league games for the club and later came back to haunt them as they lost their first ever Champions League final at the hands (or head!) of the man they let go for free.
Watch: Coman's five best goals for Bayern Munich
4) Going black and white
Coman had certainly made enough of a name for himself to attract attention when he turned down PSG's offer of a professional contract, in a similar way to Paul Pogba at Le Havre. While fellow future France international Pogba chose Manchester United before moving to Juventus, Coman headed directly for Turin.
"I don't regret leaving Paris," he later stated. Coman played 14 Serie A games en route to winning the Italian title as well as making his Champions League bow with the Bianconeri.
5) Bayern's loan star
Having gained valuable game time in Italy, it wasn't long until Coman was on the move again. In August 2015 - after one season in Serie A - he switched Turin for Munich in a two-year loan agreement.
"Kingsley Coman is one of the biggest talents in European football," then-Bayern sporting director Matthias Sammer said upon his arrival.
Then a France U21 international, Coman soon started backing up Sammer's statement. He ended with six goals and 12 assists in 35 appearances in all competitions during his first year in Germany, helping Bayern to a league and cup double.
6) Impressing the right people
It was no surprise when Bayern announced in April 2017 that they planned to sign the winger on a permanent deal. "He has the talent and the potential to do great things," the then Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge - himself a highly effective attacker in his own playing days - said of the Frenchman. "He's one of the players we're relying on in the future... we're convinced he'll make his mark, and that's why we have decided to sign him."
Over a year later - after Coman had signed a fresh, six-year deal and won another league title - Jupp Heynckes returned as Bayern's manager. He, too, was soon impressed by what he saw as the Bavarians - and Coman - closed in on becoming German champions yet again.
"He has a very bright future ahead of him," Heynckes said of his gifted winger in February 2018. "He's a guarantee of success in future years. Perhaps he'll become a real leading player."
7) Injury misfortune
With his opponents rarely able to do so, Coman's momentum has only been checked by injuries. The tricky wideman suffered bad ankle setbacks in August 2016, February 2018 and August 2018 - with a knee and ankle problem also putting him out of action for a spell in late 2016.
Most notably he was forced to miss France's FIFA World Cup triumph in 2018 as a result of his misfortune, although Bayern also missed him when they trailed Borussia Dortmund in the first half of the 2018/19 season.
"His absence affected us a lot," Bayern's then boss Niko Kovac said in January 2019, shortly after Coman had returned to action with a bang. "I know this is difficult to prove, but in my opinion the gap at the top of the table wouldn't be as big [six points at the time] if he hadn't got injured. We wouldn't be so far behind and might even be top ourselves. I'm well aware of his qualities, and they're qualities the team needs."
Kovac seemed to have a point. Coman scored six league goals in the second half of the campaign as Bayern overhauled Dortmund and the Frenchman won his fourth league title in four years with the club.
8) Coman, Le Bleu
Coman made his senior international debut in November 2015 in a friendly win against Germany, and - when fit - he has been a near-permanent fixture in Les Bleus' squads.
He became France's youngest ever player in a World Cup or Euro game when he appeared in the UEFA Euro 2016 opener against Romania before going on to be named the tournament's second-best young player.
9) He loves his job
Like most players, football is anything but a chore for Coman. There are lows, especially when you miss out on the action through injury, but nothing compares to the thrill of being at the centre of it all.
"In big matches, your heart is racing," Coman told L'Equipe in March 2016 after making a goalscoring contribution in a barnstorming Champions League win over his former team Juventus.
"You're happy to bring something to your team. There's nothing else that can provide such passion for me - such an emotion. That's the way it's been since I was a little kid. And football, I live it even more intensely since I've been in Germany. In Paris, you have your friends, other things outside of the game. Here in Munich, my life is completely focused on football. It’s my pleasure and my job."
10) He's NOT the new Ribery
When Ribery's career at Bayern was winding down and Coman was becoming increasingly important, comparisons between the two French wingers were inevitably made. While thankful for the role that club legend Ribery played in his development, though, Coman insists he is his own man in Munich.
"Franck really helped me a lot at the start," Coman told Kicker in 2019. "In games, in training, in everyday life. He was always there for me - like a big brother. Franck has his career. I have mine - completely independent of him as a person. I'm not the new Ribery. I'm me. I have enough qualities to deliver very good performances at Bayern."
Coman is certainly making his own history at the Allianz Arena and Bayern fans will be excited to know that there is plenty more to come after the now 26-year-old committed his future to the club for the next few years.
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