I was reading a football article in German and the following phrase came up:

Kimmich und Thiago zusammen im Mittelfeld, das ist mir spielerisch zu gut

and I roughly translated this as

Kimmich and Thiago in midfield, that is too playful for me.

but I couldn't put a finger on the purpose of "zu gut".

I thought at first it meant "too good" but then the use of spielerisch as an adjective (I think) made me question what zu gut is used for.

I looked on Wiktionary and it gave one of the definitions of gut as as adverb to mean "a little more than".

What does zu gut apply to in this sentence?

  • The quotation is from Marcel Reif in de.sports.yahoo.com/news/… . "Bei Bayern sehe ich auch ein Positionsdilemma: Joshua Kimmich und Thiago zusammen im Mittelfeld, das ist mir spielerisch zu gut. Javi Martinez wäre die Lösung, aber der ist verletzungsanfällig und wird ja nicht jünger."
    – Paul Frost
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 23:55

2 Answers 2


Your first idea was correct - "zu gut" means "too good". It was your translation of "spielerisch" that caused the trouble.
In this context, it does not mean playful, it means with regard to playing skills (like dribbling). In football any team is best when the playing and fighting skills are well balanced, and the only way the quote makes sense is if the writer thinks that playing skills are over represented (and hence the team is off balance).


It applies to "mir" as indirect object, the subject is the first sentence ("das" functions as a shortcut for "Kimmich und Thiago zusammen im Mittelfeld") and is modified by the Adverb "spielerisch": "Mir ist es (spielerisch) zu gut." "Spielerisch" has here the meaning "in terms of the game".

As for the whole meaning, there is a widespread German expression along this same line of thought, "zu viel des Guten" (it is too much of a good thing) which means "to go over the top", "to be an overkill".

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