After briefly scouting a group of English youth players at an international tournament in 2018, Bayern Munich technical director Marco Neppe had a hunch — and then a chance to make a potentially once-in-a-lifetime signing. It was the kind of find every person in his position dreams of coming across.
Neppe did not hesitate.
“Jamal Musiala is a prime example of what it’s like when a 16-year-old joins FC Bayern so early and then follows this path,” Neppe told Sky Sport’s Florian Plettenberg (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “He will continue this path with us. I’m looking forward to the future. You can speak of a perfect match.
“My first live scouting (of Musiala) was in 2018 at an annual tournament in Paris. It was an international tournament and Jamal was playing for the England U16 national team. Honestly, I can hardly remember any result, but I can remember two players...and I can remember them very clearly: Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala, who played together for England. They were spectacular.”
While Bellingham ultimately inked a deal with Borussia Dortmund, Musiala — after some convincing — signed with Bayern Munich.
“Jamal already showed qualities back then that he is now showing in the Bundesliga. He impressed with his incredible touch, skills and movement. With those quick dribbles. He was very difficult to defend for the opposing players,” Neppe said. “You could see he’s enjoying the game in almost every action he took. That was just good. It was a pleasure to watch him play football. We kept talking about the name Jamal Musiala in our scouting sessions. He was 15 years old then. It was difficult to get video footage. So it was all about live scouting. We immediately had the unanimous opinion that we would do everything we could to bring him to Bayern.”
Once that decision was made, Neppe went to the hard part — trying to convince the youngster to move to Germany,
“I had a very interesting meeting in London, was able to get to know his family and also had talks with him. I remember that very well because I was aware that at this point I was speaking to a 15-year-old who would not have much of a conversation,” said Neppe. “Jamal was actually not very talkative, but his statements were so clear. It spoke for him and his ambitions. It gave me a good feeling about how he is and what ambitious path he wants to go.”
Years later, here we are — Musiala is tearing it up for both Bayern and Germany, to the sheer delight of fans worldwide.