By Oliver Trust
The 2020 Champions League finalS actually have their starting point long before kick-off. This Sunday’s clash between Paris St Germain and Bayern Munich seems no exception.
A smile flickers on the face of Kingsley Coman when having to answer the question of who is the fastest player in the two squads.
“Kylian Mbappe is fast, but Alphonso Davies is faster. He is the fastest,” the Bayern winger told Xinhua in an interview ahead of this weekend’s encounter.
The 25-year-old must know a thing or two, as he is an expert on French football even though he plays in the shirt of the reigning German champions.
Despite his French roots, there seems no question about who his heart is beating for at present.
“My time in Paris is a thing of the past. I grew up there, and I played there – but that was long ago. My head and heart are 100 percent with Bayern,” the French international said.
The final is not a final between Kingsley Coman and Paris; it is a final between Bayern and Paris, he insists.
The winger was raised in St Germain’s academy from the age of eight and made his first-tier debut at 16. He became the youngest-ever French international after being picked for the European Championship tournament at the age of 19 years and 11 months.
The Paris team has changed entirely after he left the side over six years ago, the five-time German champion said. “Only two players are left, so it’s a new side for me too.”
Bayern are desperate to win the final, he added. Coman said Sunday’s contest is vital for the Bavarians. “We have gained a lot of confidence this season,” he said. The Champions League has been the side’s main target for a long time.
“You feel in flow when you are winning the games continuously. We feel ready to go the whole way and win the cup,” he commented.
Since coach Hansi Flick took over, “the team’s approach has changed for the better” he reports.
The new tournament format of the Champions League “allowed us to prepare for the final as the games before came close to finals as well.”
Having to play the final after a shorter break than the French opponents isn’t a problem for the German side, Coman stated.
“We have adapted well with the tournament format. We feel excited, and everything is set up to secure the title,” the Bayern forward said.
Coman praised Bayern’s front line as one of the world’s best, mentioning Robert Lewandowski and Serge Gnabry as being on the same level as Neymar Junior and Kylian Mbappe.
“Two players never make the team. It takes more to be successful,” he said.
Coman praised France as the leading nation in football after the 2018 World Cup triumph, and now two French teams reached the semi-final of the Champions League. “It has been a good year for France,” he added.
That also seems to apply for Coman’s club Bayern Munich. After the national double this season, the Bavarians look on their way to repeating their 2013 treble march.