Germany right-back Joshua Kimmich says he has unfinished business to attend to at the FIFA 2018 World Cup following "a disappointing season" with Bayern Munich.
The 23-year-old ended the 2017/18 campaign with his third successive Bundesliga winner's medal, but defeat to Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals coupled with last month's shock DFB Cup final loss to Eintracht Frankfurt have left a sizable void he is determined to fill in Russia.
"I see this World Cup as an opportunity to make a disappointing season into a highlight for me," Kimmich told German sports specialist magazine kicker. "I'll go there with the intention of being one the best players at the tournament. We've got the right mix of young and old, and the desire. The best-case scenario is we win it."
The fact Kimmich is even in a position to be speaking about going to the World Cup - let alone as one of Joachim Löw's most important players - speaks volumes for his gravity-defying progression over the last four years.
When Germany beat Argentina to lift the World Cup for a fourth time in 2014, Kimmich was - like most of us - watching the contest on TV. A midfielder by trade, he had just completed his breakout season at senior level, making 26 appearances in the Third Division whilst on loan from boyhood outfit VfB Stuttgart at RB Leipzig.
Four years on, Kimmich is a stalwart at Bayern, the club he joined in summer 2015; a three-time Bundesliga winner with some 79 top-flight appearances to his name; a 27-time Germany international and FIFA 2017 Confederations Cup champion; and easily the best right-back to have played the game since 2014 World-Cup winning captain Philipp Lahm retired.
Watch: Compare the achievements of Messrs Lahm and Kimmich after 100 Bayern appearances
"When I look back, I was watching [the World Cup final] as a fan, but not thinking in the back of my mind that I could soon be there - Now I'm a regular," Kimmich said. "If you see what players we have in the squad and the titles they have won, then it's hard to call yourself a leader after just two years playing internationally, but if I have something to say on the pitch, I say it."
If you've had the pleasure of seeing Kimmich in action, you'll know that he's telling the truth. As vocal as anyone in the Bayern and Germany locker rooms, he celebrates goals and victories like a testosterone-fuelled Roman gladiator whilst scolding mistakes and defeats in a manner that would be more at home in a Victorian classroom. The only difference is Kimmich's bite is probably worse than his bark - but then he does hail from Rottweil...