Kimmich says players 'have a responsibility' after setting up initiative

Bayern Munich's Joshua Kimmich feels footballers have a duty to do their bit in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka have set up a fund for charities and social institutions.   -  Getty Images

Joshua Kimmich feels high-profile footballers have "a certain responsibility" to play their part in the fight against coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Bayern Munich and Germany midfielder Kimmich set up an initiative along with club and international team-mate Leon Goretzka called 'We Kick Corona', a fund for charities and social institutions during the COVID-19 crisis.

There have been 2,000 donors to the cause, including Robert Lewandowski, who pledged €1million euros along with his wife, and the total has now surpassed €3.5m, with Mats Hummels, Leroy Sane and Timo Werner listed among the supporters on the initiative's website.

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Bayern, Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen have also vowed to make a €20m pot available to Bundesliga and 2.Bundesliga clubs who may struggle financially due to the leagues' suspensions.

"As a soccer player you have a certain responsibility," Kimmich said in an interview for Bayern's website.

"We also have the scope to move forward in terms of solidarity. Leon and I, and now the FC Bayern Munich team, have naturally thought about how we can help - both our own employees and the society outside the club.

"Therefore we started the initiative and hope that we can help many people who need help during this time."

There have been over 66,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Germany, which, like most of Europe, has implemented a lockdown in order to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Bayern's players are therefore training remotely and Kimmich has been pleasantly surprised by how well those virtual sessions have gone.

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"In the beginning I was very sceptical whether the cyber training would work," he admitted.

"But you have to say that it is fun. It's a good opportunity for us to keep in touch with the players. Everyone is there, you can see each other on your mobile phone or whatever device you are logged in with.

"You have to compliment the fitness trainers at this point because it works really well. We players sweat a lot, give everything and every player pulls along very well."

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