by Oliver Trust
BERLIN, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — The upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is an unprecedented mental challenge for footballers, says Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich.
With roughly two weeks to go until the tournament’s kick-off, “it is somehow strange to think of it as we are still busy with national and international club competitions,” the 27-year-old said.
“There is something important as a World Cup waiting, but you are currently stuck in your daily rhythm. And that [is the case] more or less right until the first World Cup group game.”
Coaches and players are aware that things will significantly change compared to the past World Cup tournaments, Kimmich stated.
In the past, players and coaches enjoyed the opportunity to prepare over several weeks “but now you have all sorts of other things in your mind.”
Therefore, the 2022 tournament is coming along as a never-before-experienced challenge.
Only a day after the national league’s 15th round of matches on November 13, the German team is taking off for a short preparation phase including the last test match against Oman on November 16.
Only six days later, the group opener against Japan is waiting followed by encounters against Spain and Costa Rica.
A summer World Cup gives players the chance to get things into place smoothly, “this time things come rather quickly and you have to switch from daily routine to something very special,” he pointed out.
The unusual time frame for the major tournament can’t be used as an excuse as the 2014 champion intends to make up for a disappointing 2018 tournament in Russia coming along with an early group exit.
Like his teammates, Kimmich is looking forward to the tournament’s kick-off on November 20. “A World Cup is a unique competition you rarely have no matter under what circumstances it is run,” the 2020 treble winner said.
The outcome of the 2022-2023 national league campaign and this season’s Champions League is unpredictable as things will completely change after the World Cup from Kimmich’s perspective.
The Bayern midfielder said Germany is determined to do better than in Russia and target the 2022 title.
Qatar is Kimmich’s second World Cup tournament. “We all feel a great motivation to perform well and make it to the final,” he added.
To help Germany secure the 2022 title no sacrifice seems too big for him.
It meanwhile doesn’t seem excluded that the midfielder is moving from midfield to the right back position when needed.
Several pundits such as 2014 world champion Bastian Schweinsteiger demand to shift Kimmich back to gain additional stability as the midfield jobs can be covered by Leon Goretzka, Jamal Musiala, Thomas Muller and Ilkay Gundogan.