Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman may have been learning from Franck Ribery during his time in the Bundesliga so far, but the young French winger isn’t looking to become the next version of his legendary countryman. He has his own story to write.
Coman already has seven league titles to his name, despite being only 22: two in France with boyhood club Paris Saint-Germain, two in Italy with Juventus and three since his move to the Allianz Arena in 2015, for a remarkable total at such a tender age.
The Paris-born winger never expected to have seen so much of the football world so early into his career, but is now planning on an extended stay in Munich with Bayern the perfect fit for his ambitious future.
“I didn’t plan to travel so much,” Coman explained in an interview with German sports daily Kicker. “But at the moment I’ve settled here and I’m very happy with the situation here in Munich. I can really imagine staying for a long time.”
Coman could even add an eighth league winners’ medal to his mantelpiece before turning 23 in June. Bayern currently sit one point ahead of Borussia Dortmund atop the Bundesliga table with five matches to play in the 2018/19 season.
“The biggest or most important game on the way to the championship will probably be at RB Leipzig [on Matchday 33],” Coman explained. “If we’re as focused as we were against Dortmund, it’ll work; then we can beat RB.
Watch: Coman scored a stunning brace for Bayern last time out!
Incredibly, this is the longest Coman has had to wait to win a league title in any season in his professional career, and there are still huge matches to play. “I can’t tell you (laughs). It’s always worked out,” he said when trying to explain his incredible trophy haul.
Winning a fourth Bundesliga title would put the 22-year-old winger well on his way to matching what would then be nine titles for Ribery. The Bayern legend could be playing his final season for the record champions. The 36-year-old has been a huge help for Coman during his time in Munich, but the ‘next Ribery’ is not something that ‘King Coman’ is happy to be known as.
“Franck really helped me a lot at the start,” Coman said. “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.”
While Coman may have had plenty to celebrate in his career so far, he’s also had plenty of heartaches to deal with, too. He never considered ending his career, but two ankle ligament injuries in February and August last year had him questioning his future in the game.
Now back to full fitness and firing on all cylinders, Coman is brimming with confidence, though. A brace in Matchday 29’s 4-1 with at Fortuna Düsseldorf took his season total to five goals from 16 appearances in the Bundesliga. World-class is a tag Coman is reluctant to embrace yet, but he knows he has the potential to get there.
“[A world-class player] has to score many goals,” Coman said. “That depends very much on his own individual playing style. As a winger, I have to score more. I already bring a lot of different qualities, but I’m still a long way off. I have to get stronger and faster, right now I feel a bit slower than before the injury. The old pace can only come back in time.”
The best French Players in Bundesliga history
Bixente Lizarazu, Franck Ribery, Kingsley Coman and more - we take a look at the standout French nationals to play in Germany's top flight...
France's Bayern block
Kingsley Coman, Dayot Upamecano, Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez will be key for the defending world champions...
"Coman key for Bayern" - Nagelsmann
The Frenchman is quickly becoming Bayern's go-to man in the UEFA Champions League.