Tz journalists Philipp Kessler and Mano Bonke issued a report (as captured by @iMiaSanMia) on Bayern Munich star Joshua Kimmich and his potential captaincy at the club.
Kimmich, though, is also a vital player for the German national team and could potentially be a candidate to be the captain for both club and country. In the piece, the journalists revealed that Kimmich had a verbal dust-up with a teammate in Qatar, which really should not surprise anyone. Kimmich’s fiery persona and excitable reactions do sometimes leave him prone for confrontations — even with teammates:
In addition to his performances on the pitch, Kimmich is a team player, motivates his teammates in training - but sometimes exaggerates with his character to the point there was a clash between him and another leading player at the World Cup.
If you cycle back to the 2017 Confederations Cup, Kimmich went forehead-to-forehead with then Bayern Munich teammate — and Chilean opponent — Arturo Vidal.
Through the years, Kimmich has scuffled with Germany teammate Antonio Rüdiger during training camp for the 2018 World Cup and had a barking match with Borussia Dortmund star (and another teammate for Germany) Marco Reus during a Bundesliga game, as well as countless (literally) other verbal spats on the pitch.
Kimmich typifies the old cliché: “He’s the type of guy you love if he’s on your team, but one that you hate if you are his opponent.”
So...what “high profile” player was Kimmich battling with? Knowing what we know from the report, let’s take a few completely and totally speculative guess at options for who the other combatant might have been:
- Niklas Süle: The big defender’s position awareness kept Japan onside in the first game, which allowed the underdogs to score and essentially put the Germans in a hole for the rest of the tourney. The two players are reportedly good friends, but Kimmich has often been caught by the camera yapping at or gesturing to Thomas Müller and Robert Lewandowski, so we know frustration sometime takes its toll. Verdict: Possible, though Süle looks like the kind of guy who might throw someone through a wall if you make him mad enough.
- Leon Goretzka: Goretzka and Manuel Neuer — allegedly — were the primary players pushing to make a statement regarding the OneLove armband controversy. Could there have been a falling out between the Bayern Munich midfield partners over that issue and whether it was taking away the team’s focus? Verdict: Spicy, but unlikely.
- Antonio Rüdiger: Maybe the two old combatants wanted to get it on for round two? Verdict: Probably not, they’re both more of team leaders now than youngsters battling for the larger group for field time.
- Jamal Musiala: The youngster was fantastic, but did have some issues with his finishing: Verdict: Very doubtful. Kimmich is more of of a “pick you up” rather than “tear you down” kind of teammate.
- Thomas Müller: Kimmich and Müller seem to have good relationship, but the veteran struggled during the World Cup. Could they have had it out? Verdict: Probably not. Again, Kimmich likely knew Müller was doing the best he could physically, but the two both have strong personalities and were frustrated.
- İlkay Gündoğan: Maybe Kimmich and the Manchester City midfielder just could not get in sync on the pitch and found themselves at odds? Verdict: It’s possible. Gündoğan did seem to be marching to the beat of his own drummer at times during the World Cup, which is something that would annoy Kimmich. He also wasted no time in leaking his displeasure to the media.
- Serge Gnabry: The duo are good friends — maybe best friends — but that does not mean frustration didn’t boil over. Gnabry scuffled at times, but Kimmich still doesn’t seem like the type to jump on a man when he is down. Verdict: Very unlikely.
- Leroy Sané: We know Kimmich and Sané are good friends, but we also know that Sané has created some issues in the past during the past for checking out. That would irritate a player like Kimmich in a do-or-die environment like the World Cup. Verdict: This is possible.
- Kai Havertz: Hmmm...this one has potential. Havertz fell ill after a subpar game one where he played despite not feeling great (something that could potentially irk Kimmich) and with him playing in England, he is not as connected as the rest of the team. Verdict: Another possibility.
- Marc-André ter Stegen: Like Gündoğan, there were reports that the FC Barcelona goalkeeper was unhappy with his role for Germany, which — if vocalized in a team environment — could have elicited a response from a no-nonsense player like Kimmich. Verdict: It’s possible. Very possible.
In the end, we might never know, but at least they didn’t come close to — allegedly — throwing hands like those boys from Belgium.