Robert Lewandowski was spurred on by Borussia Dortmund supporters chanting the name of Lionel Messi ahead of Bayern Munich's clash with Borussia Dortmund.

That was the verdict of Julian Nagelsmann, the head coach who saw his Bayern side prevail 3-2 in a thrilling Klassiker to move four points clear of their closest rivals at the Bundesliga summit.

Lewandowski scored twice for the leaders, the second of those goals a late penalty, in the same week he missed out to Lionel Messi for the Ballon d'Or.

Dortmund fans, who worshipped Lewandowski during his four seasons at Signal Iduna Park, taunted the striker by singing Messi's name while both sides were warming up.

The Poland international took revenge with his double, however, taking his tally against BVB to 26 goals in all competitions – his most against a single side.

Speaking after the game, Nagelsmann said: "All of this rather spurred him on. He scored the significant goals and paid the fans back after all the Messi calls in the stadium."

 

Bayern were 2-1 up at half-time in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash after Lewandowski and Kingsley Coman struck to cancel out Julian Brandt's early opener.

Erling Haaland hit back for Dortmund, who saw a couple of big decisions go against them in what could well be a defining moment in the Bundesliga title race.

Lucas Hernandez avoided conceding a penalty despite appearing to commit a foul on Marco Reus, shortly before Mats Hummels was deemed to have handled at a corner.

Lewandowski converted the resulting penalty, leading to strong comments being made by the Dortmund camp in regard to the performance of referee Felix Zwayer.

Despite the controversial conclusion to the game, Nagelsmann felt his side were good value for their seventh successive win against Dortmund in all competitions.

"I think we deserved to win, but I also understand the discussions over the two penalty situations," said Nagelsmann.

"It was a very tight game that was worthy of its reputation. We could have scored more in the first half.

"Dortmund did it well early in the second half, but we found our rhythm again and had good control."

Bayern ended the game with an expected goals (xG) return of 2.27 compared to Dortmund's 1.44, backing up Nagelsmann's assertion that his side deserved all three points.

Dortmund had more possession (53 per cent) and outshot Bayern seven to six in the second half, however, and Thomas Muller conceded the visiting side rode their luck in the end.

"Dortmund's first goal has probably helped us," Bayern stalwart Muller told Sky Sport. "We got into the gaps relatively easily afterwards, with the goals scored after mistakes.

"We should have taken the lead in the first half. In the second half, I don't know whether we deserved to win from the way we played.

"The first-half display was definitely better – we moved the ball well and won our challenges. Based on the second-half performance, we didn't deserve it. It was more of a fight."

Borussia Dortmund head coach Marco Rose has confirmed Erling Haaland is not fit enough to play a full part in this weekend's key Klassiker clash with Bayern Munich.

Haaland scored just seven minutes into his comeback from a six-week injury lay-off in last Saturday's 3-1 win over Wolfsburg.

That was the Norway striker's 50th Bundesliga goal, reaching the landmark in just 50 matches and becoming the youngest ever player to do so at 21 years and four months.

However, with just those 17 minutes of football to his name since sustaining a hip injury on October 19, Haaland will not be considered to play the whole game against Bayern.

"Erling himself knows his situation," Rose said at Friday's pre-match news conference. "He has had a good week of training behind him. 

"But we all know that we have to be careful a little longer. He will certainly not be ready for 90 minutes, so we will have to see how long he can go."

 

Haaland has averaged 1.12 goals per 90 minutes played in Germany's top flight, scoring 40 with his left foot, six with his right and four headers.

Since making his Dortmund bow in January last year, only Robert Lewandowski (70 goals in 56 games) has scored more Bundesliga goals than the ex-Salzburg man.

Indeed, no player in Europe's top five leagues has scored more goals in all competitions this season than Bayern striker Lewandowski's 25.

Despite his continued brilliance in front of goal, Lewandowski finished second to record-extending seven-time winner Lionel Messi at Monday's Ballon d'Or ceremony.

Rather than feel sorry for himself, however, Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is backing Lewandowski to be extra fired up against Dortmund on Saturday.

"I've already said that he's in great shape and it's not impossible that he could win this thing again," Nagelsmann said at his pre-match news conference. 

"He can't change the past. He's working every day on the present and the future gets created with his work in the present. I think it could be possible that he wins it someday.

"And I'm sure that, when you look at his current numbers without mathematical talent like me, it looks good for this season.  

"Therefore, I believe that he can do it and that those who vote will vote for him next year and say that he deserves the Ballon d'Or.

"It is important to accept this disappointment but also to take energy and motivation for other big performances. And I'm confident that he has this drive."

 

Against no team has Lewandowski scored more goals in all competitions than against former side Dortmund (24, level with his record against Wolfsburg).

Dortmund have lost their past six competitive matches against Bayern, but they enter this contest with six wins in their previous seven leagues games and are just a point behind Bayern.

Asked how his side go about beating reigning champions and current pacesetters Bayern at Signal Iduna Park, Rose said: "We need to play well in every department.

"I believe that Bayern have a clear structure with the ball and develop a goal risk from it with a lot of force. It is difficult to grasp. 

"It will be important to eliminate the offensive quality around Lewandowski and the wingers and to keep Munich out of the penalty area as much as possible."

Julian Nagelsmann believes Bayern Munich are ready for Der Klassiker after digging deep for a 1-0 home win over Arminia Bielefeld.

Bayern's clash with Bundesliga title rivals Borussia Dortmund is coming up next Saturday, with the great rivals sitting first and second in the German top flight.

Dortmund briefly occupied top spot on Saturday after a 3-1 win over Wolfsburg, in which Erling Haaland returned from injury with a goal.

But they were nudged off the summit later in the day when Leroy Sane's 71st-minute strike earned a depleted Bayern three valuable points. Eight days previously, Bayern were beaten by Augsburg, so a league win of any sort this time was to be welcomed.

Nagelsmann's squad has been hit hard by COVID-19 cases, but the head coach saw enough from the team he fielded against Arminia to be optimistic about the tussle with Dortmund.

The Bayern boss said: "I am very satisfied. It was a step forward after the Augsburg game.

"We had enough chances to win the game. We gave away a few chances in the second half. Dortmund won, so we were under a bit of pressure. It's a deserved victory. We don't always have to score three, four or five goals. One is enough.

"Overall, we defended well. Such games are important. If you lose those games, then it's not enough to just win games like next week.

"We are now heading to Dortmund as championship leaders and full of anticipation."

 

Sane's goal was Bayern's 102nd in the league this calendar year – a Bundesliga record, beating Cologne's mark from 1977.

Thomas Muller made his 396th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern, matching the great Franz Beckenbauer's total and going sixth on the club's all-time list, led by Sepp Maier (473).

Asked how many more games he could play, midfielder Muller told Sky Deutschland: "We'll see. If I stay fresh and fit, and well enough, then something is still possible. That is just a nice statistic, it simply shows the path I have already taken.

"But I am looking forward more to the road still ahead of me, which is certainly a bit shorter in comparison."

Julian Nagelsmann would like Ralf Rangnick to be handed a long-term role at Manchester United amid widespread reports the experienced coach is to become the club's interim manager.

Rangnick, 63, only took over as Lokomotiv Moscow's head of sports and development earlier this year following an eight-season spell across various roles at RB Leipzig.

But the former Stuttgart and Schalke coach, who is credited for influencing some of football's brightest minds, appears set to join United as interim manager following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's departure.

Nagelsmann and Rangnick's careers crossed paths at Leipzig between 2019 and 2021, with the latter acting as head of sport and development for RedBullGMBH following his director of football role at both Red Bull Salzburg and the Bundesliga side.

Now Bayern Munich head coach Nagelsmann, whose high-pressing philosophy largely resembles Rangnick's preferred approach, believes his compatriot will be a hit at United.

Asked about his mentor's potential appointment at Old Trafford, Nagelsmann said: "I think it's cool. I also wrote to him. I think I wrote 'cool'.

"I'm happy for him. He's an excellent trainer."

While the 34-year-old was pleased with the Red Devils' reported move, he explained he would like to see Rangnick offered a longer deal as United are set to search for a permanent solution at the end of the season.

"I would like him to be a coach longer than until the summer," he continued. "From Man United's point of view, congratulations."

Reports have suggested United will look to appoint Rangnick on a consultancy basis after his time as interim boss is up.

Mauricio Pochettino has been touted as United's preferred option to take over next year, though Paris Saint-Germain have insisted the Argentine is staying put.

United face Chelsea on Sunday, with Rangnick's appointment expected to have gone through by that stage. However, Michael Carrick is set to be in charge for the trip to Stamford Bridge.

Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala will be back in the Bayern Munich squad to face Arminia Bielefeld on Saturday but Marcel Sabitzer is facing a spell on the sidelines.

Bayern have been hard hit by coronavirus, but Julian Nagelsmann revealed Gnabry, Musiala and Michael Cuisance will come out of quarantine on Friday.

The trio have been cleared to return after testing negative, but will not be considered to start.

Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic have stepped up their recovery from COVID-19 in training this week, but neither will start the Bundesliga encounter this weekend.

Joshua Kimmich and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting remain in isolation after they contracted the virus.

Kimmich has come in for criticism for not taking the vaccine, but Nagelsmann has sympathy for the Germany midfielder.

Nagelsmann said in a press conference on Friday: "I have a lot of contact with him. He is extremely ambitious. It is a burden for him that he cannot play."

The Bayern boss revealed Sabitzer will be out for "a few weeks" due to a calf injury, while Tanguy Nianzou misses Bielefeld's visit to the Allianz Arena due to a torn ligament in his shoulder.

Leaders Bayern suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Augsburg last Friday before beating Dinamo Kiev by the same scoreline in the Champions League.

Bielefeld are second-bottom of the table with only one win this season, but Nagelsmann says they must not be taken lightly. 

"Bielefeld have shown a clear improvement to last year. Masaya Okugawa is playing very well, has a lot of confidence on the ball and is versatile. They have a strong shape and always look to play deep.

"I know their coach [Frank Kramer]. Arminia have grown in terms of their physicality and the way in which they play. There are some parallels that can be drawn with Augsburg. It's a very important game for us."

Lucas Hernandez sustained an injury in Bayern Munich's win over Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday, further depleting a squad Julian Nagelsmann described as "on a knife-edge".

Bayern headed to Dynamo for their fifth Champions League group game of the season without five first-team players who were forced into quarantine following close contact with a person who tested positive for coronavirus.

A vaccine debate has raged around Bayern in recent weeks, but Nagelsmann's side were able to maintain their 100 per cent European record this term – just the third time they have made such a start since 2003-04 – with a 2-1 success that secured their place at the top of Group E.

Robert Lewandowski broke the deadlock with a sensational overhead kick, extending his scoring run in the Champions League to nine straight matches – making him the first player to enjoy such a sequence twice (also in 2019-20).

That goal was also Lewandowski's 25th of the season already in all competitions, nine more than any other player across Europe's big five leagues.

Kingsley Coman added a second – Bayern's 19th goal through matchday five, the third-most in a Champions League group stage – before Denys Harmash replied for Dynamo after half-time.

Bayern were on the back foot for much of the second period, but they were playing without Hernandez, who was replaced by right-back Bouna Sarr at the break.

"In the end, we gritted our teeth well, and it was an important victory," Nagelsmann said.

"In general, it wasn't an easy game, also considering the circumstances. Not just the pitch conditions, but also our squad situation, which was already on a knife-edge before the game.

"During the interval, we had to change what we were doing because Luci [Hernandez] had to come off injured and we didn't have a third centre-back. We took a while to readjust to the change and we were a bit too passive.

"However, we had two or three good opportunities to transition into counters, but our final ball wasn't right. The third goal would have finished the game off.

"The goal we conceded was a bit annoying. We still have a long way to go. We have to be more stable, especially against opposition like today's."

Julian Nagelsmann is certain the issue of whether to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or not will not disrupt the harmony of his Bayern Munich team but is keen to avoid internal decisions leaking to the media.

Bayern were without Joshua Kimmich for Friday's shock Bundesliga defeat to Augsburg as he was forced to quarantine after coming into close contact with a positive case for coronavirus and has not been jabbed.

Serge Gnabry, Jamal Musiala, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Michael Cuisance are now also in quarantine having come into contact with a person who tested positive and has close contact to the team.

German media outlet Bild has since reported Bayern have told players they will have their pay withheld for time missed in quarantine if they have not been vaccinated, with claims saying certain members of the squad are considering legal action against such measures.

Head coach Nagelsmann does not foresee the issue causing a split in the team, though,

Speaking prior to Tuesday's Champions League clash with Dinamo Kiev, he said: "It's always a group's distinction that you don't always agree.

"In a functioning team, however, everyone has to be there for everyone. I don't think it will break the team, we have to grow from it. 

"By not vaccinating, they are more likely to fail. But we have to be there for each other, we should grow from that.

"You often have conversations, if the person is positive, you have to be in quarantine as an unvaccinated person.

"The players are doing fine though, they are being tested. Josh could return earlier than the others because he was quarantined earlier."

Nagelsmann did, though, add that such matters should always be an internal matter and not be played out in the press.

"Of course I'm not happy that certain internals are leaked, that's not beneficial. It's also about private things," he added.

"There are too many things that are carried outwards. But that doesn't endanger our sporting success. It would be nicer if it was a little more closed. 

"I have more fun when everything goes in the right direction. But we mustn't make the topic too big, every club has these problems. We mustn't project these issues too much onto the sporting side. 

"We have moved forward in all statistical values. A week ago we were celebrated. Noise has been a part of FC Bayern for years."

The suspended Dayot Upamecano will miss out, while Kinglsey Coman and Marcel Sabitzer are injury doubts, but Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic face late fitness tests having returned negative coronavirus tests after previously contracting the illness.

"We're still not sure if 'King' and 'Sabi' can play. With Sabi, it doesn't look too good because he has problems with his Achilles tendon and calf. 'King' no longer feels any muscle pain, but we have to see tomorrow," Nagelsmann said.

"We have an important game on Saturday, and we have to make sure he doesn't miss it. If they're both unavailable, we still have 13 outfield players.

"Despite being without at least eight players, we still have a very good team. 'Niki' [Sule] has tested negative and will be examined tomorrow. The same applies to Stanisic. We might have two more alternatives at the weekend."

Julian Nagelsmann and Thomas Muller vented their frustration at Bayern Munich's shock defeat to Augsburg by questioning the team's collective effectiveness in defensive situations.

Bayern were dominant for almost the entire match on Friday but still lost 2-1, with Mads Pedersen and Andre Hahn putting Augsburg 2-0 up before Robert Lewandowski pulled a goal back just before half-time.

While the second half was even more one-sided in Bayern's favour than the first, they did not exactly pepper Rafal Gikiewicz's goal, with the visitors' expected goals (xG) value only reaching a modest 1.4.

On the other hand, Augsburg scored twice from an xG value of just 0.6, highlighting just how clinical they were – though questions look set to be asked of the Bayern defence.

 

This was the fourth time in five matches – a run that includes a 5-0 defeat to Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal – Bayern have conceded at least twice in a match, while they have now let in 13 Bundesliga goals from 9.8 xG against.

Only Greuther Furth (8.6) and Hertha Berlin (6.6) have worse xG against differentials than Bayern (3.2) this season, and Opta's expected goals on target conceded (xGOT) data suggests Manuel Neuer is a big part of the problem, putting him at fault for roughly 3.4 goals – the fourth-worst in the division.

Neuer failed to keep out Hahn's header despite getting a hand to it on Friday, though Muller and Nagelsmann pointed the finger at the defence as a collective.

 

"The first half was bad, very bad and in the second half you could see that we wanted to turn it around, but maybe we didn't deserve that little bit of luck in front of goal," Muller told DAZN.

"This is a bitter setback for our confidence… [but] what wasn't good today should get better.

"I think when you have the feeling in every game that you can score three or four goals, you lose a bit of hunger defensively. We noticed that over and over again in the past few games."

Head coach Nagelsmann added: "We're conceding the goals the same way throughout the season.

"We discussed it yesterday, and today we conceded both goals the same way again. The opponent didn't really have any moments of brilliance and still scored two goals. It was the same against Frankfurt.

"I think the important thing is that if there's not much going on in attack in a game, you must be more stable at the back. One impacts the other. 

"Overall we didn't create enough and didn't have enough shots on goal."

Joshua Kimmich will miss Bayern Munich's Bundesliga match at Augsburg on Friday as he is self-isolating after coming into close contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

Julian Nagelsmann on Thursday revealed that Kimmich missed training as a precautionary measure as Bayern awaited the results of his PCR test.

The Bundesliga champions confirmed on Friday that Kimmich, Niklas Sule and Josip Stanisic are in isolation.

Germany midfielder Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, had recently been forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Niklas Sule.

Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Croatia defender Stanisic's positive test was revealed this week following his return from international duty.

Nagelsmann stated that Kimmich had come into close contact with an individual "in his private sphere" who may have the virus.

Kicker reported that Kimmich, Gnabry and Musiala – who are all unvaccinated – are being split up for the rest of the Bayern squad due a spike in COVID-19 cases. 

Kingsley Coman misses the clash with Augsburg due to a minor muscle problem.

Bayern Munich are waiting to discover if Joshua Kimmich will be available to face Augsburg on Friday after he was in close contact with someone who may have coronavirus.

Julian Nagelsmann confirmed Kimmich missed training on Thursday as a precautionary measure and the Bundesliga champions are awaiting the results of his PCR test.

Kimmich, who has publicly confirmed he has not yet received either dose of his vaccine, was recently forced into isolation along with Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala due to being in close contact with Niklas Sule.

Sule withdrew from the Germany squad to face Liechtenstein and Armenia after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Kicker reported that Kimmich, Serge Gnabry and Jamal Musiala – who are all unvaccinated – are being split up for the rest of the Bayern squad due a spike in coronavirus cases. 

Josip Stanisic was the latest Bayern player to return a positive COVID-19 test this week, with the Bavarian giants stating on Wednesday that the fully-vaccinated Croatia defender is isolating at home but feels "fine".

Nagelsmann revealed Kingsley Coman will miss the clash with Augsburg due to a minor muscle problem, but Leon Goretzka is fully fit.

The Bayern head coach will make a late decision on whether Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting and Alphonso Davies feature on Friday after they only returned from international duty on the eve of the game.

Bayern Munich head coach Julian Nagelsmann backed Robert Lewandowski to continue to be the world's best forward as he highlighted the milestone man's longevity following his Champions League hat-trick.

Lewandowski marked his 100th Champions League appearance with a hat-trick as Bayern eased past Benfica 5-2 to seal their last-16 progress in Group E action on Tuesday.

The Ballon d'Or contender became the sixth player to score on his 100th appearance in the Champions League, after Thierry Henry, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Cristiano Ronaldo, Andrea Pirlo and Toni Kroos, while the Poland captain is the first player to score more than once in the milestone game.

Lewandowski also celebrated his fourth Champions League hat-trick – the third-most in Europe's premier club tournament after Ronaldo and Lionel Messi (eight each). At 33 years and 73 days, he is the fourth-oldest hat-trick scorer after Olivier Giroud (34 years 63 days), Ronaldo and Claudio Pizarro (34 years 35 days).

Nagelsmann showered Lewandowski in praise post-match, telling reporters: "Ninety-eight times involved, 81 goals in 100 Champions League games. Something new?

"Today most of the people talk about his three goals. Or many people write about his three goals. But you have to see his joy to play in the last 30 minutes. He played every offensive position, wanted to have every ball. He started good attacks."

When asked to compare Lewandowski to superstar pair Ronaldo and Messi, Nagelsmann added: "I think it's very difficult to compare because they are different types of players. I don't know the character of the other two, I also only know them out of the TV, as do you, I guess. I think all three were very impressive players in the last years.

"[Lewandowski] I also know as a person. He is a very nice guy which whom it's very nice to work with. I heard that also about the other two guys when I talked about them with their former coaches. I believe that Lewy can achieve a lot, also at a high age, because of his physique and his lifestyle and the way he lives as a footballer.

"He will continue to be the best forward in the world because he does everything to keep it that way."

Julian Nagelsmann conceded Bayern Munich's 5-0 thrashing by Borussia Monchengladbach will take a while to heal.

Nagelsmann – who was absent again from the touchline for a fourth game due to a positive COVID-19 test – saw his side miss out on the DFB-Pokal last-16 stage after a crushing loss at the hands of Gladbach.

Wednesday's demolition was the first time since December 1978 that Bayern had lost by a five-goal margin as the Bavarian giants look to bounce back against Union Berlin in Saturday's Bundesliga clash.

However, Nagelsmann warned that a defeat of that magnitude will take a while to heal from as they look for a fourth consecutive victory on the road in the German top flight.

"We didn't cry to ourselves on the phone about how bad everything is," said Nagelsmann on Friday.

"It was important to me that the players not only look for mistakes in themselves but also in me. At the end of the conversation, I had the feeling with everyone that we could get this out of their heads – but also that it would take a while.

"Our aim is to solve it playfully, but it is easier on a good day. We need solutions that we will use again and again in the future in order to survive such moments.

"That was one new experience for us. With that we can close the Wednesday book."

 

Nagelsmann will be hoping for improvements against Union Berlin, who have not won any of their first four matches against Bayern in the Bundesliga.

The former RB Leipzig head coach also revealed he held important conversations with some of his key players after the Gladbach game as they quickly looked to resolve issues.

"The conversations were yesterday," he continued. "I won't tell you which players I spoke to. That remains a trade secret. I have tried to send messages that can also be passed on [to other players].

"I try to have the best possible influence. As a head coach, being able to hand over responsibilities is a great asset.

"There was a lot received, but that stays between us. Everyone has different issues. In the end we all agreed that this shouldn't happen to us again. Simply because it hurts. It doesn't work about what other people write about us.

"It's not about making amends. Experiences are shaped by uniqueness, you can no longer eradicate something like that in life. The stone from Wednesday will lie there forever."

 

Nagelsmann, who confirmed he will return to the touchline for the Champions League clash on Tuesday against Benfica, also insisted he can handle the pressure of the Bayern role.

"I always feel pressure, it hasn't changed much," he added. "I know how Bayern Munich works. I've prepared myself for it.

"It's not about life and death, but about making good games and learning from them. The pressure is no different now than it was before."

Julian Nagelsmann claimed Kingsley Coman is "one of the top wingers in the world" when fit and said the Frenchman must remain patient for a chance at Bayern Munich.

Coman, 25, joined Bayern initially on a two-year loan from Juventus in 2015 and subsequently made the move permanent.

The France international underwent a minor heart operation in September and has managed just 84 minutes in the Bundesliga this term with the Bavarian giants.

Nagelsmann, however, insisted that Coman ranks among the best in his position on his day as he addressed questions over his rotational policy ahead of Bayern's DFB-Pokal clash with Borussia Monchengladbach on Wednesday.

"I've emphasised many times that King [Coman] is an amazing person who I really enjoy working with," Nagelsmann, who is self-isolating due to a positive COVID-19 test, told reporters on Tuesday.

"I think he's one of the top wingers in the world when he's fit. I would like to work with him for many years to come."

Among Bayern players, Coman leads the charts for dribbles completed across all competitions (500) since his debut on September 12, 2015 – Thiago Alcantara ranks second on that list, some 124 behind the Frenchman.

Indeed, the former Juventus attacker has attempted 276 more dribbles than any of his other team-mates in that same period while scoring 42 times and recording 40 assists.

 

Coman also ranks fifth at the club in this time-span when it comes to chances created, sitting behind Thiago (279), Robert Lewandowski (305), Joshua Kimmich (521) and Thomas Muller (605), with the 274 opportunities he has worked for Bayern.

However, starting chances under Hansi Flick and subsequently Nagelsmann have diminished as Coman seemingly falls behind Serge Gnabry, Muller, Leroy Sane and now Jamal Musiala.

Nagelsmann appreciates the quality of depth he has in that position with his new side, as he attempts to utilise the abundance of talent he has at his disposal.

"We're very well positioned on the wing positions," Nagelsmann said.

"All the players are in exceptional form. It takes a lot of courage, everyone plays or with a certain workload control. Not everyone agrees. I can understand that. But they are all healthy and we want to take advantage of that.

"In the last few years this has not always been the case, so we mustn't complain now. And maybe they will play at the same time."

Julian Nagelsmann revealed he contacted Joshua Kimmich after the Germany midfielder hit the headlines as he admitted he had not been vaccinated for COVID-19.

Bayern Munich, who are preparing to face Borussia Monchengladbach in the DFB-Pokal second round, have been without Nagelsmann after the former RB Leipzig head coach tested positive for coronavirus.

However, it was Kimmich who was the main point of interest after Bayern defeated Hoffenheim 4-0 as the 26-year-old explained he had not been vaccinated because he wanted further research to be conducted first.

Former Bayern president Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was quick to assure Kimmich should do the responsible thing and get vaccinated, though Nagelsmann attempted to put an end to the saga at Tuesday's pre-match news conference.

"A lot of topics are often chewed through," Nagelsmann told reporters from his home during his virtual conference. "It is important that there is an exchange of views. Everyone then has to decide for themselves whether they have to give their mustard to everything.

"There are experts, they should express their opinion. Whether the federal government has to do that now, it has to know for itself. I am happy when everyone can concentrate on their job again."

Nagelsmann, who has been operating from his homemade "data centre", then revealed he had contacted Kimmich to discuss the interview while admitting it was up to the individual whether they should get vaccinated or not.

"I wrote to him after the interview," he continued. "I told him that there are certainly easier interview topics. That is the price you pay when you are in public.

"Enough has been said about it now. I also gave my opinion of what I thought about the vaccination – I now know how the symptoms progress.

"From this and in exchange with doctors I also noticed that the disease behaves differently after the vaccination. Nevertheless, it is up to you to decide whether he can be vaccinated."

Nagelsmann will not be fit enough to return for the visit to Gladbach, though he could return against Union Berlin on Saturday.

His side have won all three games in his absence, dispatching Leverkusen, Benfica and Hoffenheim by an aggregate score of 13-1.

However, the 34-year-old revealed he finds comments that Bayern do not need a coach in his absence disrespectful, pointing towards the crucial interventions that are sometimes required on the touchline.

"The team is very good, no question about it," he added.

"I also have a very well-functioning coaching team. They are a tight-knit bunch, and we know each other very well.

"But I don't lie around at home and don't work on anything. I think it is sometimes a bit disrespectful when you claim that the team doesn't need a coach. There are always moments when you should intervene."

Bayern Munich midfielder Joshua Kimmich has explained his reasoning for not getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

The 26-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Bayern swept Hoffenheim aside 4-0 at home, with Serge Gnabry, Robert Lewandowski, Eric Choupo-Moting and Kingsley Coman scoring the goals.

It was the second match in succession that fully vaccinated head coach Julian Nagelsmann missed due to testing positive for the coronavirus, with the 34-year-old also not present for the 4-0 victory over Benfica in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Kimmich explained that he is not opposed to the prospect of getting vaccinated at some stage, but he wishes to wait for further research to be conducted.

"I just want to wait for myself when it comes to long-term studies [about the vaccine]," Kimmich told Sky Deutschland after the game. "Nevertheless, I am aware of my responsibility.

"Of course, I adhere to the hygiene measures. It is also the case that we unvaccinated players at the club are tested every two or three days.

"Nevertheless, it is not now that I am in any way a corona denier or vaccination opponent. I don't say categorically that I won't be vaccinated at all. It's just about the fact that I still have a few concerns. That is why it is very possible that I will be vaccinated in the future."

The Germany international was asked about the initiative 'WeKickCorona' started last year by himself and his Bayern team-mate Leon Goretzka, and Kimmich explained that his aim was to help those affected by COVID-19.

"'WeKickCorona' was about supporting charitable institutions and non-profit purposes that support people who are in need due to corona," Kimmich said. 

"We have also donated money to Unicef, which then makes vaccines available. The point is that there are countries that do not have access to the vaccine. 

"I think everyone should make the decision for themselves. It [should not be] possible that someone has no access."

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