Musiala or Bellingham more deserving of Kopa Trophy than Gavi, claims Nagelsmann

By Sports Desk October 18, 2022

Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann believes either Jamal Musiala or Jude Bellingham should have beaten Gavi to the Kopa Trophy at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

The award – given to the best under-21 player in the world – went to a Barcelona midfielder for the second year in a row, as Gavi replicated Pedri's 2021 success. 

Bundesliga duo Musiala and Bellingham were both in contention for the prize, finishing third and fourth in the voting respectively, with Real Madrid's Eduardo Camavinga coming second.

Asked about Musiala's failure to land the award ahead of Bayern's trip to Augsburg in the DFB-Pokal, Nagelsmann said: "You wear club glasses. 

"In my eyes, both Jamal Musiala and Jude Bellingham have had better seasons than the winner. Gavi is an outstanding player, and I'm happy for him too."

No Bayern player has bettered Musiala's return of five league goals this season (level with Sadio Mane and Leroy Sane).

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Bellingham last week followed Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland as just the third teenager to score in four consecutive Champions League appearances.

Attention for Bayern now turns to the DFB-Pokal, which they last won in 2020.

Their bid to go beyond the second round this season could be hamstrung by the absence of Manuel Neuer, but Nagelsmann is not prepared to take any risks with his shoulder injury.

"It's not a conscious pause. Anything in the shoulder area is unfavourable for a goalkeeper," the coach explained. "If you have a sharp pain, you can't react. 

"He has pain when moving and is therefore restricted. As a goalkeeper, it's impossible to get 100 per cent performance then, so it doesn't make sense [to play Neuer]. It would be easier with an outfield player.

"We do everything in the necessary care for the players. We try everything to prevent this and consult all possible values. The rhythm is what it is. It's annoying when players are out and injured."

Nagelsmann also offered an update on the condition of Lucas Hernandez, who he hopes will recover from a muscle tear before the World Cup begins next month.

"It's looking better. We're making a bit more of him," Nagelsmann said of the defender. "We have to be patient. I can't say how long it will take. 

"It hasn't been looking too good lately. He's making progress, but it's a tough injury. I hope he can play at the World Cup."

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