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Landon Donovan talks Bayern Munich, Alphonso Davies, and the jacket he wouldn’t give back

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Former USMNT star Landon Donovan enjoyed his short-lived experience at Bayern Munich.

Hertha BSC Berlin v Bayern Muenchen - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

USMNT legend Landon Donovan recently sat down for an interview with Sport Bild and covered a number of topics — including his short stint at Bayern Munich and which player he likes watching on the German giants today.

When asked if his move to Bavaria was a mistake the LA Galaxy legend said he does not regret anything.

“It wasn’t easy, of course, because I would have liked to play more often. The fact that (Jürgen) Klinsmann wanted me so badly was a great honor because he lives in California and often watched me with the Galaxy,” said Donovan. “Jürgen wanted to see if I could make it at Bayern and wanted to give me the opportunity to do so. He was going through a tough time as a coach at the time and was criticized. Of course, that also made it difficult for him to rely on me. Overall, my time at Bayern was a great experience. Just being able to work with world-class players every day was great for me.”

FC Bayern Muenchen v Hannover 96 - Bundesliga
Landon Donovan had a short stint at Bayern Munich, but Bavaria left a big impression on the USMNT legend.
Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

When asked what player made in an impact on him, Donovan said that he admired the work ethic of Franck Ribéry.

“What Franck Ribéry did with the ball in training alone — I had never seen such extraordinary footballing skills before. Watching him at work inspired me. Franck is also a fantastic guy,” Donovan said. “I still smile about the jokes he and Poldi (Lukas Podolski, e) used to entertain the dressing room with.”

As for which player he most enjoys watching at Bayern Munich now, Donovan let a little North American bias take over.

“Alphonso Davies. I also have Canadian citizenship, so I’m particularly proud of him. Davies is athletically outstanding, ball-playing, strong defensively, but also creates goal-scoring opportunities and scores himself,” said Donovan. “He embodies everything that every manager is looking for when they want a modern full-back. Davies can become one of the best left-backs in the world.”

Finally, Donovan admitted the best thing that he took away from Bayern Munich might not have been the experience — but a nice, warm jacket (maybe the one from the lead picture).

“The greatest thing I got at Bayern was a long winter jacket,” Donovan said, who is currently the manager for the San Diego Loyal Soccer Club in the USL Championship. “As a Californian who is used to warm weather, I had never worn such a thick jacket before. Maybe Bayern wanted it back, but I kept it (laughs). Nowadays, when I’m in a cold place, I still put the jacket on.”

(For the full interview — in German — click here.)