Nestory Irankunda
Adelaide United's Nestory Irankunda believes he challenge for a first-team spot at Bayern Munich. Image by Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS
  • soccer

Irankunda aims to make instant impact at Bayern Munich

Steve Larkin November 15, 2023

Nestory Irankunda believes he can make an instant impact at Bayern Munich after rejecting other offers from Europe’s top five leagues to join the German giants.

The 17-year-old will move from Adelaide United to Bayern next July after being sold for an A-League record fee.

United refuse to detail the sum but the multi-year deal is understood to be about $5.5 million.

“We will leave the speculation on numbers to the media, there’s all sorts of numbers being bandied about,” Adelaide’s chief executive Nathan Kosmina told reporters on Wednesday.

“We fielded interest from all over the world, the top five leagues in Europe.

“Bayern was ultimately the best destination … they’re one of the biggest clubs in the world but they take pride in developing young players.”

The previous A-League transfer record was the $2.9 million Scottish powerhouse Celtic paid for Melbourne City’s Marco Tilio in June this year.

Irankunda, flanked by Kosmina and coach Carl Veart, said he was ready to challenge for a first-team spot at Bayern, a club boasting megastars including England captain Harry Kane.

“I guess so, I think so,” the quietly-spoken winger told reporters.

“Obviously it’s everybody’s dream to be playing top league in Europe so it’s going be great.”

His coach Veart said Irankunda “wants to hit the ground running when he gets there, he wants to have an opportunity to play in their first team”.

“He’s an exciting young player and it’s important that we understand that he’s still quite a young player and we don’t put too much expectation on him,” Veart said.

“Credit to him so far that he’s dealing with a lot of that expectation.”

Irankunda was unfazed by the hype surrounding his feats for United in his 38 games.

“Obviously it has been happening for quite some time now,” he said.

“I’m getting used to it, no problem with it. I guess I’m doing pretty well trying to cope with it all.”

Irankunda was born in Tanzania after his parents Gideon and Dafroza fled war-torn Burundi.

The family moved to Australia when Irankunda was a baby, initially in Perth and then settling in Adelaide, where his on-field talents were quickly noticed by United.

“His speed and his power – but people seem to forget that he’s actually technically very good as well and his ball-striking is exceptional,” Veart said.

“I get excited when I just see him playing to his instinct … I’ve never given Nestor too much information to play his football, just let him go out and and play.

“A lot of young players have that potential but it’s what they do with that potential – and Nestor has stayed true to himself and has kept working.

“At times he’s had some bumps along the road, but he’s stayed on his path.”