10 things on Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman, the Bundesliga champions’ next great winger
bundesliga.com takes a closer look at the France international, who – after recently signing a long-term contract extension – is set to play a central role for club and country over the next decade.
1) Serial winner
If Paris Saint-Germain’s Dani Alves is the most-decorated player in the game, Coman is already well-placed to overtake the bemedalled Brazilian. The Bayern youngster has an incredible record of having won league titles in every single season he has played as a professional, starting with PSG’s 2012/13 Ligue 1 title. In addition to his six championship winner’s medals and a single cup triumph in France, Italy and Germany, he already has nine major domestic medals, and could soon take that into double figures at the DFB Cup final.
He has runners-up medals at a UEFA Champions League final and UEFA EURO 2016, and there will surely be many more to come. Not that he is getting carried away. “No, I don’t realise I have played at three big clubs,” Coman explained. “I think it’ll be at the end of my career when I’ll say, ‘Ah yeah, wow, I played at some big clubs.'”
2) Paris born and bred
Well almost! A postcode snob in the French capital might not say that, but Coman did grow up in the Parisian suburbs. He joined local club Sennart-Moissy before his PSG-passionate father, Christian, encouraged him to join the club aged just nine.
“He’s talented, complete and very intelligent,” said Patrick Gonfalone, France’s Under-17 coach when Coman was just 16. “His reading of the game and his above-average technique make him formidable. He’s got nothing left to do at Under-17 level. He’s playing at Under-19 level with his club, and he’s already the best.”
Watch: Coman, Ribery & Tolisso, Bayern’s part of the Bundesliga’s French connection
3) Prodigy with a capital P-SG
When most of us were focussing on our history homework, Coman was making football history. At 16 years, eight months and four days, he replaced Marco Verratti three minutes from time of PSG’s 3-2 defeat at Sochaux in a Ligue 1 fixture in February 2013, becoming the French giants’ youngest ever debutant. It was supposed to herald a great career at the Parc des Princes for Coman, but he featured in just another two league games for the club, totalling only 41 minutes.
4) Coman, ça va?
His nickname, King, is much easier to pronounce correctly than his surname, which is the subject of debate. You say ‘Comment’ (sounding like the French word for ‘How’), I say ‘Co-man’, making it sound almost like the English, ‘Come on!’
“In Guadeloupe, you say Kingsley ‘Comment,'” explains the man himself, whose parents hail from France’s Caribbean state. “But when I was little, people made a lot of silly jokes, like, ‘Comment tu t’appelles?’ [What are you called?]. So, I got into the habit of saying, ‘Co-man’. I thought it was nicer.” Question answered.
Watch: See how Coman and his Bayern team-mates fared in the FIFA18 Free Kick Challenge
5) All in black-and-white
Coman had certainly made enough of name for himself to attract attention when he turned down PSG’s offer of a professional contract in a similar way to Paul Pogba had done at Le Havre. While Pogba chose Manchester United before moving to Juventus, Coman headed directly for Turin. “I don’t regret leaving Paris,” he later stated, and played 14 Serie A games en route to the scudetto as well as making his UEFA Champions League bow with the bianconeri.
6) Don’t mention Ibra
Robert Lewandowski, Thiago Silva, Paul Pogba, Arturo Vidal… Coman has already played alongside some of the game’s biggest names. While at PSG, he featured in the same side as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but expected more from the Swedish superstar than the now-Los Angeles Galaxy forward was ready to give. “He’s not a player to go to the young players and give them advice,” Coman said. “He takes care more of himself.”
7) Hey-nckes praise
While Zlatan might not have impressed Coman, the French winger has left a positive image on Jupp Heynckes at Bayern. “He has a very good future ahead of himself. He’s a guarantee of success in future years. Perhaps he’ll become a real leading player,” gushed Heynckes, who should know a great player in the making when he sees one.
“Kingsley is a very fast player, and he doesn’t rely only on his pace, but dribbles well, plays good passes, sends over good crosses. He focusses, sometimes changes tempo and has good vision. He has enormous potential.” Look out world!
8) King of the waves
Coman also stands out among his compatriots for his first name, which — among the Pierres, Oliviers and Emmanuels — is as unusual as a Dortmund-born Schalke fan.
“I was reading the newspaper one day, and there was an article about African stowaways on a boat headed for Europe,” Coman’s father, Christian, explained. “The sailors had wanted to throw them overboard. One of the stowaways was called Kingsley, and his story touched me. I talked to my wife about that story and the name, and she liked it.
9) CoCo tops
Exciting wide players have been all the rage at Bayern since Franck Ribery teamed up with Arjen Robben, and with ‘Robbery’ ageing, it looked like a smart move to pair Coman with Douglas Costa in 2015. Not only were the media happy with a new dynamic duo they could christen ‘CoCo’, but the pair suggested they had the potential to replace their peers during the 2015/16 season with Robben and Ribery sidelined for much of the campaign by injury.
“Douglas and Kingsley have great quality in one-on-ones, and Bayern can be happy to have just quick players,” then Bayern boss Pep Guardiola said. “I hope Douglas and Kingsley can achieve the standard of Arjen and Franck.” The now Manchester City boss was to be disappointed though. Costa faded after a strong start to his Bayern career and left the club on a season-long loan in summer 2017. Bound for where? Coman’s old club, Juventus…
10) Coman, Le Bleu
Ribery may no longer wish to play for his country, but Coman has provided France boss Didier Deschamps with a young, like-for-like replacement. After making his senior international debut in November 2015 in a friendly win against Germany, Coman has been a near-permanent fixture in Les Bleus’ squads.
Translation: Important match this evening
He became France’s youngest ever player in a World Cup or EURO game when he appeared in the UEFA EURO 2016 opener against Romania before going on to be named the tournament’s second-best young player. The winner? Bayern team-mate and Portugal midfielder Renato Sanches while Borussia Dortmund‘s Raphael Guerreiro was third.