Stefan Effenberg, much like former Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness, is not one to shy away from expressing his opinions, whether they’re controversial or not. The former Bayern and Germany midfielder is no stranger to being critical of Bayern players, managers, front office members, and even pundits that express their viewpoints on Bayern-related matters. While he’s often times a contrarian, he shares the sentiment with a large portion of Bayern and Die Mannschaft fans that Joshua Kimmich should one day become the captain of the German national team.
Kimmich’s initial decision to not get vaccinated against the coronavirus was not taken well across Germany, as he cited concerns with the lack of long term studies having been done on the vaccines available. After missing a bevvy of matches through isolation and a period of having the virus himself, he’s changed his mind along with Bayern’s other players who hadn’t yet gotten vaccinated. Kimmich took a great deal of criticism, but Effenberg feels that won’t deter Bayern’s number 6 from eventually becoming captain of Germany under Hansi Flick.
Everyone makes mistakes. But they also have to be forgiven. I’m sure Joshua Kimmich can still become captain of the German national team. He just has to perform and show the leadership qualities that we know of him. Then he automatically qualifies for this office (Germany captaincy),” Effenberg said of Kimmich in a recent interview with Mannheimer Morgen (via az).
In retrospect, Bayern was still able to take care of business, even without Kimmich. Julian Nagelsmann was forced to make several adaptations out of necessity due to combinations of injuries and coronavirus quarantines. The mini-crisis was typified in the away trip to Dynamo Kyiv in the Champions League group stages when Nagelsmann was only able to name six subs on the bench, two of which were backup goalkeepers. With a few blips on the hinrunde in the form of losses to Eintracht Frankfurt, Augsburg, and Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal, Nagelsmann was still able to lead his side to a nine point lead over Borussia Dortmund at the top of the Bundesliga table going into the winter break. However, that lead could very well be greater had Kimmich not missed so many matches.
Effenberg feels that Kimmich dug himself a bit of a hole with the vaccine situation, but he also sees it as something Kimmich’s learned from. “Joshua Kimmich did himself no favors with his initial skepticism about a Corona vaccination. Nor can I do anything with the fact that it was subsequently said that the whole vaccination debate in Germany was being carried out on his back. He himself was responsible for that,” he said.