In a Champions League match day that had storylines galore, a notable one slipped under the radar: Joshua Kimmich, as well as Kingsley Coman, made his first UEFA Champions League start of his career. He played all 90 minutes for Bayern Munich in their 5-0 win against Dinamo Zagreb, and manager Pep Guardiola seemed more than satisfied with his performance.
"He played awesome," Guardiola said after the match. "He has absolutely everything a footballer needs. He is very intelligent, very aggressive against the ball, good in shifts, strong with headers, has good eyes, and looks very good where there's free space. He is an awesome player and an awesome acquisition for the future of Bayern München."
According to Opta statistics, Kimmich completed 90 of his 93 passes on Tuesday, including seven of his eight long passes. His five tackles were the most a single Bayern player recorded, and he tied Philipp Lahm with three interceptions.
Kimmich made the move from VfB Stuttgart over the summer after Stuttgart activated his €500,000 buyback clause from RB Leipzig. He was coming off a strong performance with Germany's U21 team in which he quickly supplanted Moritz Leitner as Emre Can's midfield parter. Germany reached the semifinals before losing to Portugal.
His start Tuesday was only his third – his sixth appearance overall – recording just 207 minutes for Bayern this season. He is only 20 years old, but Guardiola is already pumping him up to Germany coach Joachim Löw.
"Jogi Löw has a new option," said Guardiola. "I am sure of it: sooner or later he will be a national team player."