A leader among leaders: Joshua Kimmich (c.) is in fine company as he eyes a future role as captain of club and country. - © © gettyimages / MacDougall / AFP
A leader among leaders: Joshua Kimmich (c.) is in fine company as he eyes a future role as captain of club and country. - © © gettyimages / MacDougall / AFP

Joshua Kimmich: "I want to become a leader for Bayern Munich and Germany"

"Joshua is one of the greatest talents I have seen in the past decade. He's got that bite and hunger to push himself to the limit in every training session. He's going to have an amazing career."

Those the words of Germany coach Joachim Löw, and you can picture it already: Joshua Kimmich - Bayern Munich and Germany's captain fantastic, leading by example and raising trophies to the skies. It's a role the versatile defender can envisage in the future, and one very few would find unfathomable.

He may be just 23, but the current full-back of choice for the Bundesliga champions elect and the FIFA World Cup holders has already worn the armband for his country at senior level.

Speaking with Bavarian publication Süddeutsche Zeitung this week, the Baden-Württemberg native said that expressing his leadership skills is something that feels natural, and that one day he envisages doing on a more permanent basis.

Watch: All of Joshua Kimmich's Bundesliga goals and assists!

"My aim is to become a leader at Bayern and with Germany; it's a role I'm not afraid of," Kimmich explained. "By nature, I'm definitely one who likes to take responsibility. [However,] telling others something or supporting them along will only work if your own performance is consistently good, if not, nobody will put faith in what you say. You also have to be the type of person who can and wants to perform such a role [and] I definitely want to."

A man of many immense talents, the former VfB Stuttgart youth and RB Leipzig loanee is beginning to relish his role at right-back, seeing complexities and challenges in the position the one-time defensive midfielder appreciates more and more every day.

"The number six - defensive midfielder - is considered the central position in the game: you can get the ball from every side, are involved in virtually every action and need that 360 degree all-round view," Kimmich explained.

"Yet I sometimes now see that the full-back position is even more complex. As a full-back, you have the touchline as your orientation and limitation, but you make a lot more intensive runs there. You also fight much more important defensive battles while on the wing these days as you come up against mostly the best and quickest opponents in the world. All the while offensively, you should also ideally still participate."

Joshua Kimmich has had plenty to ponder while seeking to perfect his role at right-back. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Lukas Schulze/Getty Images )

Now 73 Bundesliga games into his Bayern career - and with a new contract until 2023 to his name - Kimmich feels happier now carrying out his duties on the flank than ever before.

"Two years ago at the European Championship in 2016 [with Germany], I would have said, 'right-back is okay, but in the long run, I probably won't be able to reach top international class [playing in that position],'" the two-time Bundesliga winner explained.

"However, in the meantime, I have developed as a full back and so I think it's quite possible that I can play a decisive role as a right-back [looking ahead]." Wherever he is on the pitch, Kimmich's presence will be a source of inspiration around him for years to come. 

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