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99 reasons why he’s a defender and the pitch ain’t one: Bayern Munich’s Dayot Upamecano recalls days as attacking player

Why didn’t Julian Nagelsmann try him out at the No. 9 in 2022/23?

VfL Wolfsburg v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Marvin Ibo Guengoer - GES Sportfoto/Getty Images

Bayern Munich center-back Dayot Upamecano had a terrific Hinrunde as he focused on locking down the opposition’s attack.

There was a time, however, when Upamecano was the player scoring the goals — not preventing them.

“In the U-15s. As a kid, I looked up to Zinedine Zidane, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto’o. My coach back then told me that I had to play in defence, even though I scored a lot of goals,” Upamecano told Tz (as captured by @iMiaSanMia). “Back then I played everywhere: striker, left winger, also in midfield — so I can dribble too. If my coach said you play right-back or goalkeeper, I didn’t care. I just wanted to play.”

As for his current role, Upamecano would like to contribute more offensively with more scoring and dribbling.

“I want to be a bigger goal threat. I need to score more goals. If it helps the team and I can dribble forward, I do that too. But: The priority is to defend well and not to concede a goal,” Upamecano said.

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