Kevin Kampl has found his sporting home at RB Leipzig. The central-midfielder arrived in Saxony nearly half a decade ago and has so far made 171 appearances for the club. The victory in the DFB-Pokal final was a dream come true for both The Red Bulls and for Kampl. The former Slovenia international finally got his hands on the prize that had eluded him four times previously.
“I want to stay with RB even when my playing days are done. I am only just coming into my prime as a number six,” said Kampl.
A regular under Domenico Tedesco
Kevin is the midfield maestro in Domenico Tedesco’s starting eleven. The Slovenian is the link between the defence and the attack and is usually paired with Konrad Laimer or with Tyler Adams. “I simply love it when we have the ball and control the game,” said Kampl, who relishes his role in the middle of the park. The midfielder is also blessed with a great engine, which allows the wing backs to get forward.
Dominic Tedesco’s brand of football, which is characterised by a mixture of possession and winning the ball back high up the pitch through intensive pressing, suits the Solingen-born midfielder down to the ground. However, it can also be said that Kampl impresses as much off the pitch as he does on it.
“The lads know that they can always rely on me”
A veteran at 31-years-old
Kevin has developed into a real leader of the last few years and is one of RBL’s veterans at 31-years-old. Only goalkeepers Phillip Tschauner (36) and Péter Gulácsi (32) can boast more experience. Leading by example is, however, something that Kampl relishes: “The lads know that they can always rely on me. They know that I would do anything for them, no matter what it is.”
Kampl has made 171 appearances for The Red Bulls and is ninth on the club’s all-time list. He moved ahead of Dominik Kaiser (167) and Timo Werner (159) earlier in the campaign. What he lacked for a long time, however, was a trophy.
One of the key men in the cup run
On 21st May 2022, Kampl finally made one of his dreams come true when he lifted the DFB-Pokal in Berlin’s Olympiastadion. “It goes without saying that it would be huge. It’s something that we have wanted to achieve for years. It would be incredible for the players, the club and the whole city,” he stated before the final.
Kampl was in the starting eleven for the cup final defeats against FC Bayern in 2019 and against Borussia Dortmund in 2021. He also had to settle for a runners-up medal with BVB back in 2015. However, this year was his year.
Through the years with Kevin Kampl
His plans for after
It is still unknown what the former international will do after his playing days are over. “I’ve been in Leipzig for almost five years now and I feel a strong connection to the city and to the club. I have had two children here and everything just fits together. I can imagine remaining loyal to RBL after my playing career,” explained Kampl.
A stint on the sidelines is certainly not out of the question for the midfielder: “My wife has always said that I should become a coach,” said Kampl, who has been managed by some of the biggest names in the business over the years. Jürgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Roger Schmidt, Ralf Rangnick, Julian Nagelsmann and Domenico Tedesco, to name a few. “Of course you try to learn from them. I have always tried to absorb as much as I can and get the most out of it,” said Kampl. The 31-year-old is under no illusions, however, what style of football he favours: “A possession-based game with lots of offensive power- that is how I like to play!”