THE German has evolved from a right-back into an uncompromising defensive midfielder.

So, with Bastan Schweinsteger as his role model, Joshua Kimmich is following his idol's footsteps at Bayern Munich by becoming the driving force of the European Champions.

Kimmich will be at the heart of Bayern's midfield on Tuesday when they make the trip over the Alps to face Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League.

Kimmich has evolved from a right-back into an uncompromising defensive midfielder, whose full -blooded challenges often win back possession to counter attack.

On Saturday, in typical fashion, Kimmich robbed Cologne midfielder Ellyes Skhiri of the ball with expert timing and then launched the break which resulted in a Serge Cnabry goals Bayern earned a 2-1 win and moved top of the Bundesliga.

After Bayern conceded an equaliser at Lokomotiv Moscow last Tuesday, it was Kimmich who stepped up and hit the second half winner from outside the area.

The 2-1 victory in Moscow preserved Bayern's 13-match winning streak in the Champions league and for head coach Hansi Flick, Kimmich sums up Bayern's fighting spirit.

''His mentality is very special. He is well on his way to being one of the players that shape this club,'' said Flick after Kimmich scored the winner in September's German Super Cup triumph over Dortmund.

His performances in Portugal contributed to Kimmich being named the top Champions League defender of the 2019/20 campaign as Bayern lifted the trophy.

Kimmich believes a lot of his success comes down to his mentality, which is something he tried to learn by watching one one of his heroes while growing up.

''When I was younger, I did try to copy a lot of what he [Schweinsteiger] did,'' Kimmich, who played with the long-time Bayern midfielder for Germany, told the club's YouTube channel.

''He was always someone who led the way by bringing his own mentality to the table.

''For me, that was best shown in the [2014] World Cup final,'' when Schweinsteiger soaked up everything the Argentina midfield threw at him in a magnificent display.

Kimmich has won five straight. Bundesliga titles with Bayern and with three more years currently left on his contract, he could well match Schweinsteiger's tally of eight. [AFP]


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