When FC Bayern Munich meets Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League round of 16, Kingsley Coman is once again up against his former club: the 26-year-old left PSG in the hope of more match practice – and landed thanks to a trick by Michael Reschke in Munich.
Kingsley Coman have won a national league title in every season for the past ten years – the first two as an underused talent with his youth club Paris Saint-Germain. Coman learned to play football at PSG and made his professional debut at 16, but like many other talents from the Parisian youth department, he didn’t get a chance to play regularly afterwards.
Coman joined Juventus Turin on a free transfer in 2014 before moving on to Bayern Munich a year later. First for a two-year loan, then fixed for 21 million euros. On Tuesday he meets his youth club for the sixth time in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League with Munich (9 p.m. in LIVETICKER).
In 2017, Bayern Munich lost 3-0 in the group stage in Paris, after which coach Carlo Ancelotti was fired. In 2021 there was an end in the quarterfinals, in 2020 Lisbon won the final. With his headed goal to make it 1-0, Coman of all people decided the game in favor of Munich – although his starting place was not certain beforehand.
Only shortly before kick-off did coach Hansi Flick decide on Coman instead of Ivan Perisic or Philippe Coutinho, saying it was “a gut decision”. “Paris is Coman’s home club,” said Flick before kick-off. “I’m hoping for a bit more motivation and of course he has the quality and speed to overturn a defence.”
Why Kingsley Coman left Paris Saint-Germain
Coman’s parents are from Guadeloupe, he himself was born in Paris. At the age of nine, Coman joined the youth ranks of PSG, his father Christian’s favorite club. Ancelotti made him the club’s youngest player to date, but Warren Zaire-Emery and El Chadaille Bitshiabu have since undercut him.
After his debut, the long-serving French junior international only made three more competitive appearances in a year and a half. “I thought I deserved more playing time. There was no prospect of that at PSG. I asked for a loan, which was turned down,” Coman later said Canal Football Club.
In general, he missed “patience” with young players in Paris: “The difficult thing about the situation at PSG is that they want to see results immediately. With the development of the young people, you don’t have results immediately, you have to wait three or four years.” Coman isn’t the only promising PSG talent who later blossomed elsewhere. Christopher Nkunku, Moussa Diaby or Tanguy Nianzou had a similar experience.
Coman and PSG did not agree to extend his contract, which expired in 2014, after which he moved on to Juventus on a free transfer. “Not for financial reasons,” he assured. Coach Laurent Blanc regretted Coman’s departure: “He had great potential. It hurts me that he left Paris.”
FC Bayern: How Michael Reschke tricked Coman’s advisor
At Juventus, the then 19-year-old was only convincing in a few cases, despite more chances to play. His big breakthrough came at FC Bayern. The fact that Coman ended up in Munich at all is thanks to a curious trick by the technical director at the time, Michael Reschke.
On the last day of the transfer period, Reschke negotiated with Coman’s advisors on Säbener Strasse. An agreement was not in sight, time was pressing. To speed up the negotiations, Reschke gave one table football– According to the report, the next best club employee in the corridor had a special order: He should sit down at the negotiating table and pretend to be FC Bayern President, reject every request from the Coman advisors and leave the room after five minutes. The swindle was not exposed: In fact, this tactic brought about a quick agreement, Reschke later called the transfer a “grenade deal”.
In Munich, Coman developed into a top performer despite recurring injury problems – and is repeatedly associated with a return to PSG. “Paris is not part of my career plan,” said Coman after the Champions League victory, which is also due to superstar Neymar. “Would I have a place at PSG? No, with Neymar on the left it’s almost impossible.” In any case, his departure from PSG was “the right decision”.
Champions League: The round of 16 first legs at a glance