World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard has admitted he “didn’t waste a second’s thought” when German record titleholders Bayern Munich came calling for his services.
Many clubs interested in Pavard
In 2018, the 22-year-old shot to prominence from relative obscurity. Now seen as one of Europe’s most exciting defensive prospects, Pavard has set himself lofty targets in Munich as he looks to lay down the foundations for a career at the club game’s pinnacle.
“There were a lot of clubs who were interested and, for a while, that was quite annoying,” the Frenchman explained in an interview with SportBild.
“When the offer from Bayern came though, I didn’t waste a second’s thought. Bayern for me are the best club in the world. I want to further this club’s history and win plenty of titles here.”
Watch: Pavard: "The World Cup hasn't changed me"
'I love Germany'
Pavard is a mobile centre-back, who boasts a streak of versatility in keeping with modern day defenders, and Bayern’s interest was prevalent long before the World Cup. Strangely enough, it was Stuttgart’s 4-1 win over Bayern on Matchday 34 last term that convinced him to make the move to Munich.
“There was a turning point for me. When I was standing in the players' tunnel at the Allianz Arena with Stuttgart last season, I saw the Bayern players across from me, felt the atmosphere and knew: I want to play here one day.”
That day may have come sooner than expected after his breakout year saw him shoot to the top of shopping lists in Europe's top leagues. Interest from the English Premier League and La Liga will likely have brought with it financial incentives, but Pavard’s decision was never in doubt.
“The question of money never factored into my decision. I love Germany, the mentality, the Bundesliga,” continued the 18-time French international. “That’s why I really wanted to stay here.”
With Bayern’s hierarchy regularly alluding to the club being in transition, securing the services of a player capable of being a mainstay for several years to come is a typically prudent piece of business.
The 22-year-old adds to a growing French influence in Munich where compatriots Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman have already made their mark. However, with Bayern shaping up for another successful era, the draw of the project and now familiar faces proved to be the biggest pull.
“They’re players that I know well from the national team set-up and we’ve got a great understanding,” said Pavard. “The 'French connection' was not the reason behind my decision to move to Munich. There are a lot of players of a similar age as me at the club, which is going through a revamp. I wanted to be a part of that.”
Watch: What makes World Cup winner Benjamin Pavard so good?
Still a job to do
In typically level-headed fashion though, Pavard was quick to point of that he still has has a part to play in Stuttgart’s survival bid before he starts having his head turned by the prospect of expanding his trophy cabinet.
“When I joined VfB, we were playing in the second tier,” said Pavard, who has made 71 appearances in all competitions for the side that sparked his ascension after putting faith in an unproven prospect back in 2016. Now he’s looking to repay the faith.
“We earned promotion into the Bundesliga and then I became a World Cup winner with France. I promised everyone that I would stay this season and I’ve kept my word. I’ve always kept it real. Up until my final day, I’m going to continue to sacrifice everything for VfB so that we can stay in the Bundesliga.”