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Bayern Munich players as Pokémon (Scarlet/Violet edition)

Which Gen 9 Pokémon would the Bayern Munich first team be? Here’s our take.

2022 Pokémon World Championships Photo by John Keeble/Getty Images

Yes, it’s been over a month since Pokémon Scarlet and Violet officially hit the shelves for the Nintendo Switch. I wanted to do a “Bayern Munich stars as Gen 9 Pokémon” weeks ago, but the games were still new and there was an itty bitty little thing called the World Cup in the way.

Now that I’ve finished the game, this seems like a good time to talk about all the new Pokemon introduced this generation and which Bayern player they resemble the most. The criteria used here is fluid — some of it is based on the lore, and the rest is based on how the mon performs in competitive (yes, competitive Pokémon is a thing).

So, here are my personal choices for each Bayern Munich player ...

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting — Palafin

Zero to Hero. That’s it.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting doesn’t have much in common with the buff dolphin from the Paldea region, but the way he went from just being Lewandowski’s backup to a legitimately world class striker in his own right strongly resembles the mighty Palafin, which starts battles in its cute dolphin form before switching out and returning as an overpowered All Might-lookalike.

Sadio Mane — Ceruledge

Much like with Sadio Mane, the reveal of Ceruledge was met with immediate approval by the fan community months before release. A new Ghost-Fire type with an amazing design? Yes please. However, now that the game has been out for a few weeks, it’s clear that the mon isn’t as good as advertised.

Ceruledge can be great on the right team, but it’s too slow to have an immediate impact and is only useful in situational cases. Sound like someone we know?

Thomas Muller — Cyclizar

As one of the best support Pokémon in the game right now, the motorbike-shaped Cyclizar perfectly suits Thomas Muller. As a Normal-Dragon type, Cyclizar has so many useful qualities — Shed Tail is a move that helps teammates set up and sweep, while moves like Rapid Spin, Knock Off, Taunt and U-Turn generate utility for the team. In lore, it helps the people of Paldea get around the region.

Speaking of which, if there was any footballer who was destined to be a Pokémon trainer, Thomas Muller would be the guy. He’s practically already a Pokémon trainer irl with all the animals he has.

Jamal Musiala — Chi-Yu

Chi-Yu is a cute goldfish-looking legendary that can delete any defensive mon from existence with a single Flamethrower. There’s nothing that will stop this Pokémon from turning your team to ash. Simply by being on the field, its ability (Beads of Ruin) reduces the Special Defense of all other Pokémon on the field.

This lil guy is a monster and will likely get banned to Ubers. Thank goodness they don’t do that in football, or Jamal Musiala would be in trouble.

Leroy Sane — Chien-Pao

Another one of the Ruinous Quartet introduced in this generation, Chien-Pao is an absurdly broken mon that hits incredibly hard and reduces the Defense stat of all other Pokémon on the field through its ability (Sword of Ruin).

A good fit for Sane, who has been devastatingly effective under Nagelsmann this season.

Serge Gnabry — Quaquaval

Quaquaval is the evolved form of Quaxly, the water starter of this generation. With its signature move Aqua Step (raises speed if successful) and the ability Moxie (raises Attack for each KO), this mon has all the makings of an incredible sweeper. Despite this, Qauaquaval is hit-or-miss, failing to meet expectations much of the time due to its shortcomings. It fits Gnabry, who is generally a very hit-or-miss player.

Kingsley Coman — Espathra

Espathra has the enormously powerful ability Speed Boost, which raises its Speed stat every turn. With the right setup, it can balloon into a potent sweeper, but it needs a lot to go right for that to happen. The speedy ostrich therefore often resembles Coman, who is excellent in theory but sometimes struggles to make an impact.

Joshua Kimmich — Great Tusk

One of the so-called Paradox Pokémon, Great Tusk is a variant of Donphan exclusive to Pokémon Scarlet. It is one of the best Pokémon in competitive singles right now, practically required on most teams simply because of the absurd utility it provides. Whether you need a hazard setter, a Rapid Spinner, a tank, or all the above, Great Tusk can do it all. This is also a perfect description of Kimmich, who is the beating heart of the Bayern Munich midfield.

Leon Goretzka — Annihilape

Annihilape is the Ghost-type evolved form of Primeape, after the monkey gets so angry it dies (literally, this is what the dex says). It is a devastatingly effective Pokémon that is balanced on both offense and defense, much like Goretzka is in midfield. We hope that Leon is a little more cool-headed, though.

Marcel Sabitzer — Iron Treads

Iron Treads, the Violet-exclusive variant of Great Tusk, is a superb mon in its own right that can do a lot of things Great Tusk can do (and a few things it can’t). Unfortunately it’s still outclassed by its brother, and therefore fails to find a spot in many teams for that reason alone. Iron Treads would be happier in a game without Great Tusk, much like Sabitzer might be happier in a team that isn’t Bayern Munich.

Alphonso Davies — Roaring Moon

One of the most powerful sweepers introduced this gen (which is saying something!), Roaring Moon is the paradox version of Salamence and is exclusive to Pokémon Scarlet. With incredible attack and base speed + access to Dragon Dance, this Pokémon bears more than a little resemblance to the scorching fury of Phonzie on the wings.

Noussair Mazraoui — Iron Valiant

Iron Valiant is the Pokémon Violet counterpart to Roaring Moon, resembling a robotic hybrid of Gardevoir and Gallade. Much like Mazraoui, it’s a fine and versatile attacker, capable of hitting hard with Fairy and Fighting type moves.

Benjamin Pavard — Tinkaton

Tinkaton is a lil hater, which seems to suit Benjamin Pavard. Just look at this dex entry:

This intelligent Pokémon has a very daring disposition. It knocks rocks into the sky with its hammer, aiming for flying Corviknight.

Its signature move Gigaton Hammer has 160 base power, but is held back by the mon’s puny base 75 attack stat. Much like how Pavard is remembered for that one goal he scored in WC2018, Tinkaton’s hammer makes all the headlines and ignores the actual reality of what this Pokémon is capable of. It can’t even hurt Corviknight in the game.

Lucas Hernandez — Kingambit

The newly introduced evolution to Bisharp, Kingambit is a beast of a defensive Pokémon that can hit back hard with Dark type moves, especially its signature move Kowtow Cleave. It only feels right to have it represent Hernandez, who is known for employing the so-called dark arts when defending.

Matthijs de Ligt — Dondozo

My choice becomes clear when you read Dondozo’s Pokedex entry:

This Pokémon is a glutton, but it’s bad at getting food. It teams up with a Tatsugiri to catch prey.

Keep De Ligt away from Tatsugiri, please! Aside from this, Dondozo in competitive is an excellent tank, which great HP and defenses but a low speed stat. Sounds like MDL to me.

Dayot Upamecano — Skeledirge

The crocodile-shaped evolved form of Fuecoco, Skeledirge is one of the best walls in the game. Its ability (Unaware) makes it take no extra damage no matter how many attack boosts the opponent has, and it can usually heal off whatever damage it takes thanks to Slack Off. Also, much like how Upamecano can support the attack, Skeledirge becomes a fearsome sweeper thanks to its signature move, Torch Song, which gives it +1 in Special Attack every time it’s used. Overall, it’s a great Pokémon that suits a great defender.

Manuel Neuer — Garganacl

Resembling a Minecraft monster more than a Pokémon, Garganacl is an excellent defensive behemoth introduced in Gen 9. With Iron Defense it can boost its defenses to absurd levels, and Body Press and Salt Cure allow it to wear enemies down. While not the best wall in the game, it suits Manuel Neuer the best out of all the new Pokémon in this generation.


Presented without explanation:

  • Mathys Tel — Frigibax
  • Josip Stanisic — Arboliva
  • Sven Ulreich — Klawf
  • Ryan Gravenberch — Lokix
  • Bouna Sarr — Wiglett

How do you feel about the choices? Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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