Bayern Munich – The other “18”: muscle man Goretzka becomes a foreman

Munich (dpa) – Is this possibly a newcomer who, especially at Bayern after the Corona break in the jersey with the number 18 as a muscular painter in midfield, becomes a foreman?

The answer to the obvious question is no, even if another Leon Goretzka could be observed in the four stadium victories after the resumption of Bundesliga operations.

The international, who was often injured or ailing in just under two years in Bavaria, made intensive use of the week-long break in the season to acquire greater physical robustness. He now looks even more dynamic and less vulnerable – and with that, Goretzka could finally become really valuable in the Bavaria dress, which is well filled with his broad cross.

“You can see Leon that he has gained muscle mass. This benefits his game. He is developing well,” said Hansi Flick shortly after the restart about Goretzka. And after the 5-0 win at Pentecost against Fortuna Dusseldorf, the coach did not give the goalscorers Robert Lewandowski, Alphonso Davies and Benjamin Pavard an extra praise, but the former Schalke.

“If you wanted to pick someone out, it was Leon Goretzka who did a great job on six, who was very present and who had a lot of ball wins,” said Flick. The trainer is happy to draw attention to those who are struggling in the engine room for the team. The harsh light of the headlights in show business football is directed at this diligent work less often than at the offensive stars. “Leon showed with the other players that we wouldn’t allow anything,” said Flick, praising his entire defensive team.

Goretzka apparently decided to no longer only occasionally play a leading role in the Munich star ensemble. Flick offered him in all four ghost games in the starting lineup. Goretzka is versatile in midfield. He is more of an eight or a ten, but currently he shines on the side of his buddy Joshua Kimmich in the sixth position, where he optimally replaces the injured Thiago. Against Düsseldorf, Goretzka even did the job before the defense after the change of sides, because Kimmich moved back into the central defense.

Goretzka interprets the game on the six “a little differently than Thiago”, as Flick noted. The Spaniard impresses with technology and prudence. Goretzka is characterized by an enormous dynamic in midfield and an energetic move into the opposing penalty area. After a run that was typical for him, he scored about 5-2 in the last game against Frankfurt. “It is one of my strengths to be a goal-scorer from midfield. I try to bring that in as well.”

This now works even better than before. Because Goretzka has grown in strength. The upper arms and upper body have visibly become more muscular. The co-initiator of the #WeKickCorona aid organization eagerly spent the time that Bayern professionals had to spend at home in the high phase of the pandemic on the equipment in their own fitness room. “I made sure to keep myself physically fit – at home, among other things with cyber training,” said the 25-year-old. And so there is no new, but a different Bayern professional in the jersey with the 18. Leon Goretzka is now one of the foremen in Munich.

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