Kingsley Coman and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, two dangers that PSG knows well: former Parisians, the two Munich attackers occupy a crucial place in Bayern’s system and dream of doing damage on Tuesday in the Champions League at the Parc des Princes (9:00 p.m. ).
“I wouldn’t mind him scoring!” It was with this short sentence at a press conference that Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann answered a question about Choupo-Moting, who in two years at PSG (2018-2020) had become one of the darlings of Parisian supporters. .
At 33, the Cameroonian international seems to have finally found his place in Bavaria. In mid-February, he has already played more in the Bundesliga (838 minutes) than over the whole of the 2020-2021 season (810) and more than double the whole of last season (381).
“He’s in good health, that helps him, he’s confident. He’s an important player for us as a point of fixation in front, with his back to goal, he knows how to use his physical qualities”, praised Nagelsmann before this round of 16 go to Paris.
– Substitute for Lewandowski –
“He also has attacking qualities in the 16 meters, to score. He is good at receiving crosses. We don’t have many typical players in the box, + Choupo is very important for that, Thomas (Müller ) too”, added the Munich technician.
Barred from Bayern’s starting lineup in his first two seasons by goal machine Robert Lewandowski, the Hamburg native appeared during the exercise as a replacement for the Polish international, who left for FC Barcelona last summer. after eight years under the colors of Bayern.
The Bavarian leaders did not recruit N.9 in the summer of 2022 to replace “Lewy” and Nagelsmann was able to count on Choupo-Moting, injured at the start of the season, on his return from the international break at the end of September.
Since then, magnetizing the opposing defenders, he panicked the counters: in 12 matches from the beginning of October until the World Cup, he scored 11 goals and delivered three assists.
And if his start to the year 2023 was less prolific (two goals and an assist), it was another former Parisian, Kingsley Coman, who took over on the Bavarian wings, returning from a World Cup in Qatar ended in a frustrating final lost by the Blues on penalties against Argentina.
Lifetime hero on the Munich side after his goal in the Champions League final in August 2020 in Lisbon against … PSG (1-0), Coman regained a starting position at the start of the year.
– Coman, “exceptional player” –
Evolving both on the right and left side of the Munich midfielder, the Frenchman smiled again with a league double against Wolfsburg ten days ago (4-2), his fifth with Bayern and the first for two years and half, while the team was under pressure from their pursuers in the Bundesliga, in particular Union Berlin.
And, against Bochum on Saturday (3-0), it was he who allowed the Munich residents to breathe by scoring the second goal four minutes after coming into play, at the conclusion of a superb collective movement from Munich.
“+King+ is an extremely important player for me, for the club, for the team. He is an exceptional player, with an exceptional character. From the coach’s point of view, it makes no sense to want to sell him “, praised Nagelsmann, while Coman is already playing his eighth season at Bayern.
In the 2020 Champions League final, both were adversaries, Choupo-Moting finishing on the wrong side of history despite a feat against Atalanta Bergamo in the quarter-finals (2-1). “To be honest, people only remember the winners,” he explained.
This time, he hopes to triumph at the end of this clash of the round of 16, a “delicacy for football fans”, as summed up by Bayern sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.