By Oliver Trust
Call it a coach’s lucky hand or some gut feeling. Bayern coach Hansi Flick must have felt something like that when deciding to change his starting eleven for the 2020 Champions League final against Paris St Germain.
Against his habits not to change a successful line-up, Flick chose Kingsley Coman as his left flank option.
The 55-year-old raised his shoulders, talking about his motivation to appoint the French international. “We play against Paris. PSG is the club he was raised in. This might be additional motivation for him,” Flick commented.
The Bavarian manager might have remembered his words before kick-off in the 59th-minute in Lisbon.
24-year-old Coman’s header secured the lead for the German’s side in a thrilling final between two world-class sides competing on eye level.
In the end, it was the former Paris performer’s lucky strike securing the second treble win of Bayern Munich after 2013.
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.
“Paris is my home-town, and I was raised at the PSG academy, but this was long ago. My heart is with my Bavarian club,” he said.
After one year with Juventus Turin Coman joined Bayern in 2015, having to go through difficult times due to his repeated injury breaks.
Two years ago, he said he considers an early end of his career in case of further injuries. “I don’t think I can continue with football on this level when I have to face another operation,” he commented.
“Maybe my foot isn’t made for professional football over a longer time. I might change to a normal life beyond football,” he added.
Coman’s determination not to give up and take a second or third chance paid off now to an extent he might not have expected.
Flick rejected an offer of Manchester United for Coman only a few weeks ago. The Frenchman is an essential back-up for the left-wing, he said.
Figures proved Coman was one of Bayern’s best against Paris.
To be the deciding man in a Champions League final appears like a well-deserved reward for a footballer of his class.
The final goal was his third goal (of Bayern’s remarkable 43) in this season’s campaign but by far his most important one. It secured his side’s sixth Champions League title.
Flick rewarded himself with the Champions League title. He became the sixth coach in the competition history to win a treble after Luis Enrique, Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, Jupp Heynckes, and Sir Alex Ferguson.
With a proud smile on his face, Bayern’s man of the match received his teammate’s congratulations and coach’s warm hug after the eleventh’s victory in eleven games. Bayern is the first side to win all games in a campaign.
Coman made his dreams come true. “I couldn’t be happier. I never thought in my boldest dreams to decide a game like that,” Coman said. Enditem