With well over 100 Bayern Munich appearances already to his name, it is hard to believe that Joshua Kimmich was only born in 1995.
1) Smashing start
Don't just take our word for it, though, when we say that the boy's a bit special – here are ten things bundesliga.com have dug up about the seemingly flawless full-back.
Kimmich grew up in the small village of Bösingen, which is located between the Black Forest and Baden-Württemberg's capital Stuttgart. It is a typical rural village with no more than 1,700 inhabitants and along with the other boys in the village, football was a regular hobby for Kimmich. They would practise in the front garden and back yard, until one too many windows got smashed by wayward footballs. "One day, I came home and found two regulation soccer goals in the front yard," Kimmich told the playerstribune.com. "The local football club didn't need them anymore, and my parents had taken them off the team’s hands. My dad pointed to the plot of unused private land across the street: 'boys, go over there and play football.'"
Watch: Kimmich reaches Bayern century
2) Early idols
When playing in the park, Kimmich would look to emulate some of his early idols. Zinedine Zidane, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Tomas Rosicky were three of the names he had on the back of replica shirts – suggestive also of the role he preferred to assume out on the field. Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez and former VfB Stuttgart legend Krasimir Balakov were also role models
3) Stuttgart snub
Kimmich's passion for football saw him enrol on the roster of a local youth team, who gave him the stage to showcase his talents when they played against the youth team of Stuttgart. "This was the club at which so many other professional players had gotten their start," Kimmich recalled. "I scored three goals against them and we won 3-2 - Not a bad way to get noticed." Kimmich's parents initially refused an invitation for him to start training with Stuttgart, though, until the youth team coach came to their home in person and talked them around.
6) Mr Versatile
In his still nascent career, Kimmich has already occupied a variety of roles – starting from the central defensive position he was thrust into by Pep Guardiola in 2015 due to injuries, and subsequently named by the Catalan as "one of the best centre-backs in the world – he's got the desire, the will, the passion," moving through the defensive midfield holding role to places on both sides of the Bayern and Germany defence. He appears to have found his most habitual home at right full-back, however.
7) Pep talk
Kimmich joined Bayern in 2015 with Guardiola seeing to it personally that he would accept the Bavarians' offer. "I sat down in a conference room at Bayern’s offices waiting to meet Pep Guardiola," Kimmich said. "All I knew about Pep was from what I had seen on TV. I was so nervous, but as he walked in, I felt it right away — that trust. And immediately I knew: I wanted to play for Bayern. Pep spoke to me about my strengths and my weaknesses, and how he wanted to help me become a better player by learning a different style of play. 'I want you on this team,' he told me. That’s a moment I will never forget."
10) Player of the Year
Kimmich made a remarkable 24 consecutive appearances for Germany between June 2016 and October 2017 – bettering a sequence set by none other than Franz Beckenbauer – and he impressed so much during that spell that he was named in a poll on the German Football Association's (DFB) website as their Player of the Year for 2017, winning by a mile with 43.5 per cent of the 52,761 votes.