Xavi has suggested Bayern Munich’s Joshua Kimmich could be ‘one of the best players in world football in several positions’.
Kimmich has made 149 appearances for Bayern since moving from RB Leipzig in 2015, helping him win 38 caps for Germany to date.
Can Kimmich emulate Xavi in midfield? Five key things to know…
- Kimmich has made 149 appearances for Bayern since joining from Leipzig in 2015, the majority of which came at right-back.
- The 23-year-old has made 10 appearances in midfield this season, providing four assists during those matches.
- Xavi was widely regarded as one of the best central midfielders in the world during his 767-game stay with Barcelona, winning eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues.
- The Spaniard believes Kimmich can become ‘one of the best in the world in several positions’.
- Xavi also backed Kimmich to exceed his achievements, highlighting his versatility as a distinguishing factor.
The 23-year-old has often referred to Xavi as his idol, with the Spanish midfielder currently plying his trade for Al Sadd in Qatar.
Bayern recently travelled to Qatar for warm weather training, allowing the 38-year-old and Kimmich to meet in front of the media.
Xavi told Bild: “I talked to Pep and he told me: ‘I have a player who can play in every, literally every position!’ I asked: ‘who is he?’ Pep told me about a guy named ‘Kimmitsch’.
“I knew right away that he could become a great player. He would be the perfect player for Barça, but Bayern is also at the same level and you can still achieve a lot.
“He is a defender but can play perfectly in midfield as a number six. He can be one of the best players in world football in several positions, maybe he already is.”
Kimmich backed to be the ‘next Xavi’ by the man himself
Despite Kimmich playing the majority of his football as a full-back, the German has expressed a desire to move into central midfield.
And Xavi, who won eight La Liga titles and for Champions Leagues during his 767-game stay with the Blaugrana, has backed Kimmich to emulate his success and maybe even exceed it.
“Definitely [he can be the next Xavi]. He can make the difference,” he added.
“That distinguishes him from me: I could play in one position, he is versatile.”
Bayern travel to Hoffenheim on Friday in the Bundesliga.