It was surprising to note how quickly Benjamin’s Pavard’s 100th appearance came for Bayern Munich. In an interview with L’Equipe (via @iMiaSanMia), the Frenchman walked us through his journey with Bayern so far – his great debut season, a forgettable second season followed by a resurgent third season; a period where Bayern played under three different coaches.
Pavard was quick to pick up on the Bayern mentality, the relentless drive to score goals and win titles, he said “When I first joined Bayern, I immediately felt this atmosphere, this history, this mentality & will to win. Even if you’re 2 or 3-0 ahead, you have to continue to attack. No matter who the coach is, we have to attack. You never score enough goals or win enough titles.”
And you can never get enough of that last statement as a Bayern fan.
After an all conquering debut season, Pavard’s second season at Bayern saw a slump in form. Although it is normal for players to fall off after a season like the 2019/20 season, but Pavard revealed that personal issues also played a significant part. ”Yes. We won everything in my first season. I couldn’t dream of a better debut season. Then COVID was a difficult period. It wasn’t easy for me to be alone in a new country, far away from my family and my friends” said Pavard. “I wasn’t well in my private life, and that showed on the pitch. That period made me grow as a person. Today I’m over that. I’m getting better and better since over a month.”
Even at a club like Bayern, sometimes it helps to have figures to look up to and draw inspiration from.
“When you see Kimmich and Müller running from the first to the 90th minute, they take you with them. You have to follow them. They’re champions, leaders, good guys, you can only follow them. They are never satisfied,” Pavard said of the two Germans known to lead from the front and their vital contribution to “the Bayern way.”
Upon being asked about his teammates’ perception of him, the Frenchman opined that he preferred letting his work on the training ground along with his peers speak for him. “The players are not stupid, they see what I’m doing every day. There are more experienced players than me, but I try to lead by example”. On the topic of perceptions, Pavard also stuck to Bayern’s guns when asked about a possible boost in his image following an impressive display against FC Barcelona in the Champions League. “I’m not thinking about it like that. I played a pretty good game, that’s good. But I don’t have to stop at ‘yeah, I played well against Ousmane Dembélé.’”
In Pavard and others, the rich tradition of French-Bayern players stays alive and kicking. Despite being on the verge of 100 apps and two years left on his contract, Pavard left an open end on whether he sees himself in the Allianz Arena for the next 10 years. “I’m not thinking about the future. I just want to write history and leave my mark here,” said Pavard.
This was easily the 25-year-old’s best interview to date and it is glad to hear the defender has sorted things on the personal front and the results have shown on the pitch lately.