ASCONA, Italy, May 26 (Reuters) - Joshua Kimmich, whose meteoric rise has earned him a spot in Germany’s preliminary Euro 2016 squad, says he wants to compete at the Olympics if he misses the cut for next month’s tournament in France.
The versatile 21-year-old midfielder has had a sensational debut season at Bayern Munich, who won the domestic double, and is one of several youngsters picked by Germany coach Joachim Loew for a pre-European Championship training camp in Italy.
Loew will cut four players by May 31 before submitting his 23-man squad for the tournament that starts on June 10.
“It is an option and I would like to take part in the Olympics...it is in the back of your mind,” Kimmich told reporters on Thursday. “But here at the training camp you only think about the Euros.”
The Rio de Janeiro Olympics run from Aug. 5-22 with national football teams made up of mostly under-23 players.
Often clubs do not release their players for the Games and the Bundesliga season starts only four days after this year’s Olympics.
Kimmich said he was surprised to receive his Euro call-up despite getting regular praise from Bayern coach Pep Guardiola who deployed him as a holding midfielder, centre back and left and right back.
“I played many positions under Guardiola. That helps to see the game from a different perspective, you learn more,” the player added.
“It is obviously very important for me to be here, it is a dream and I want to make the final squad. It is a bit of a bonus as I did not expect it.”
Germany are struggling with injuries. Captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is trying to overcome a knee problem while central defender Mats Hummels has picked up a calf muscle ailment.
The world champions have been drawn in Group C along with Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland. (Reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Tony Jimenez)