Jerome Boateng produced one of the moments of the tournament so far when he somehow managed to make a goal line clearance while falling into the back of the net.

It was an astounding bit of athleticism to prevent an own goal that he would have been credited for and more evidence of what a great player he is.

Still only 27, he has four league titles in Germany to his name as well as three German Cups, a German Supercup, Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup and FA Cup to his name.

Speaking to The Players’ Tribune, the defender revealed that one of his biggest inspirations was Patrick Vieira when he was at Arsenal.

“To see the greats of European club football face off every four years while playing for their national teams in a tournament was incredible. As a kid, you dream of being a professional footballer, but watching matches like those makes you want to put on your nation’s colours, as well.

“And four years later, I was back there in my room watching France take the trophy in 2000. I was actually a big fan of that French team. They had just won the 1998 World Cup and were total legends. Zidane. Thierry Henry.

“But my guy was Patrick Vieira. I had watched him in play in the Premier League for Arsenal that season and just loved his style. He was tall and had long legs. And even though he was a midfielder, being a tall kid myself, I took a lot from his game and tried to incorporate it into mine on defence.

“And 10 years later, when I was 22 and he was 34, I actually got to play with Patrick at Manchester City.  I felt so small next to him. I just couldn’t believe I was standing on the pitch, training with Patrick Vieira, my Euros hero. I don’t think he could really believe it either.

““I could be your dad,” Vieira would say to me. “I was winning Euros and you were watching me on TV.”

“But Patrick also would talk to me about how it felt to play at the Euros. The positive vibes, the fans and the prestige that came with winning the World Cup and coming back two years later to be crowned the best in Europe.”

The versatile defender has been with the German Champions since his move from Manchester City in 2011. He is valued at around £30m and is under contract until 2021.

Speaking after Bayern Munich signed Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund, Boateng said, “There will be no major changes for me with Mats as my new partner.

“For the most part, I don’t care who plays at my side. I will stay in my position, and I still see myself as the defensive leader.”

Should a defender have to leave the club, rumour has it that it will be 29-year-old Medhi Benatia who, although under contract until 2019, has struggled to fulfil expectations since he arrived at the club in 2014 from Roma. His agent, however, has stated that the player will remain in Munich although Bayern will reportedly let him leave if the right offer comes in.

They paid £21m for him. He made just 14 appearances in the league last season and 22 overall, averaging just under 58 minutes per game.

Arsenal have already been linked with him this summer with reports at the end of May claimed they would put in a £12m bid for him. The story did not gain much traction.