Jamal Musiala: Who is the Bayern Munich and Germany teen sensation?
Jamal Musiala has made a big impression for Bayern Munich and Germany, and despite only just turning 20, he is already a superstar in the making. bundesliga.com has the lowdown on one of the best young players on the planet...
Club: Bayern Munich
Position: Attacking midfield
Country: Germany (19 caps, one goal)
Musiala was born in Fulda - a central German city just north-east of Frankfurt - but spent much of his childhood in England, where he and his family moved when he was seven. The attacking midfielder spent four months with Southampton before being spotted by Chelsea - just one year after arriving in the country - and signed to a scholarship. His progress was swift, and Musiala made his league debut for Chelsea's U18 team aged just 15 years, two months and 13 days.
While catching eyes throughout the Chelsea academy, Musiala was also making waves on the international scene. He played for the England U15 team aged just 13 and continued to represent the Three Lions at U16 level. He then made two appearances for the country of his birth, Germany, and their U16 team in October 2018. Musiala subsequently featured at both U17 and U21 level with England, but ultimately committed his international future to Germany in early 2021.
Musiala joined Bayern from Chelsea in summer 2019, aged just 16, and his progression was rapid. He averaged a goal or assist every 105 minutes as a member of Bayern's U17 squad before being promoted to the U19s. Eight appearances later, he was bumped up a class to Bayern's reserves before the COVID-19 pandemic.
After the league resumed, Musiala made his professional debut in the German third tier for Bayern's second team, and even scored a brace in his second outing. Then, on Matchday 33 of the Bundesliga season, he came off the bench against Freiburg to become Bayern's youngest-ever player in the Bundesliga at just 17 years and 115 days old.
He followed that by becoming the Bavarian club's all-time youngest goalscorer at 17 years and 205 days, smashing the record set by 18-year-old Roque Santa Cruz, with the eighth goal in an 8-0 win over Schalke on the opening day of 2020/21. Musiala was also on target against Eintracht Frankfurt on Matchday 5, and scored a brilliant equaliser against RB Leipzig on Matchday 10.
Watch: A Jamal Musiala highlight reel
Building on a breakout 2020/21 campaign, Musiala produced his first career brace in the 2021/22 DFB Cup first round, before reaching seven top-flight goals quicker than anyone except Bayer Leverkusen's Florian Wirtz on Bundesliga Matchday 3. He went on to register five goals and five assists in 30 Bundesliga outings, although 18 of his appearances came from the bench, with Robert Lewandowski still Bayern's main man in attack.
But Musiala has found another gear since the Pole's move to Barcelona in summer 2022. He has started 12 of 15 games - missing one through injury - and racked up a remarkable nine goals and six assists in just 14 matches. Lewy eat your heart out! That prolific return makes him Bayern's top goalscorer AND assist provider so far in 2022/23 - no wonder he has been described as "world-class" by current Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann. In the club's final game of 2022 - a 2-0 win at Schalke - he celebrated becoming the youngest Bayern player to reach 100 competitive games with two assists.
Musiala made his Germany debut under Joachim Löw in March 2021, before ex-Bayern coach Hansi Flick rewarded his protégé with a first start against Liechtenstein in World Cup qualifying. He chipped in with an assist in that game, before becoming the second-youngest goalscorer in the history of the Germany national team against North Macedonia, at 18 years and 227 days. Earlier that summer, the Bayern No.42 had written his name into the annals as the youngest German player to feature at a major tournament (UEFA Euro 2020).
Given his stunning form in the first half of 2022/23, it was no surprise to see the 19-year-old included in Flick's squad for the 2022 World Cup. He started all three group games, almost scoring one of the goals of the tournament against Japan and putting in an eye-catching display against Spain.
Watch: Analysing Musiala
Plays a bit like: Lionel Messi
Plenty of players have been touted as potential successors to the legendary Argentine in recent years, but Musiala might just live up to the hype. His ability to control the ball in a tight space is second to none, and reminiscent of the way it sometimes appears to stick to Messi's left boot. Don't just take our word for it, though! Germany's 1990 World Cup-winning captain Lothar Matthäus agrees.
"He can be the Messi of the future, he is excellent," the Bundesliga Legend told BBC Sport after Musiala's star turn against Spain. "I have loved him for the last two years, I love his style of football and I love his personality. He's 19 years old, he is doing the things that will make him a top footballer. He has great passing, he is clever with his thinking and he loves football."
Musiala is predominately right-footed but more than capable of using his left when needed, and the attacking midfielder prides himself on his powerful shot. He prefers to be deployed as a No.10 in behind the striker so he can demonstrate his dribbling ability, but he can also play as a No.9 or out wide.
Did you know?
Upon signing for Chelsea aged just eight, Musiala was enlisted at the Whitgift School in Croydon. The school has become famous for producing young talents in recent years, with Chelsea's Callum Hudson-Odoi (on loan at Leverkusen in 2022/23), Nigeria international Victor Moses and Lyon’s Bertrand Traore among its former pupils.
Watch: All of Musiala's goals and assists so far in 2022/23
What they're saying
"He has unbelievable potential. It's extraordinary. He has great finishing qualities. Unbelievable attacking qualities also in his dribbling with the ball. He justified my trust [in him]. He's doing very well. He has the foundation for an outstanding career." - Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann
"Jamal's already very good, but can become world-class. He's very advanced for his age. He's full of tricks, unpredictable and also very dynamic when it comes to controlling the ball - especially with his first touch. He always tries to take the ball forward. He's a very special player." - Bayern and Germany midfielder Joshua Kimmich
"Jamal's gone through the roof in the last six months; he’s a great player and has a huge future. He just goes out on the pitch, plays his game and has fun. We're happy to have him with us. Maybe we, other players, should take a leaf out of his book." - Germany striker Timo Werner
"Musiala was the outstanding player for Germany. He's full of surprising elements, he's not scared. He's a fantastic young player that has grown through the Bayern system. It's his first World Cup and he will only grow more and more." - Former Germany striker and coach Jürgen Klinsmann on Musiala's World Cup performance against Spain
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