Joachim Löw’s Germany smashed Iberian nation Portugal 4-0 yesterday with some wonderful fluid attacking football in Salvador. At the heart of that brilliant display was Thomas Müller, who has showed signs of becoming a World Cup legend with a hat-trick against Ronaldo‘s men which took his goal tally in World Cup to a whopping 8 goals. Remember Muller is just into his second World Cup. The match against Portugal was his first game in second World Cup.
Müller, in fact, had finished the previous World Cup in 2010 South Africa with five-goals as he finished tournament’s top scorer and he has now added three more to that tally – the first hat-trick of this tournament, as 10-men Portugal got humiliated 4-0.
Germany’s coach, Joachim Löw, said of the Bayern Munich forward man: “He has an instinct for creating dangerous situations for opponents and he scores in situations where you don’t expect it. On the pitch he is difficult for opponents to read, and he is certainly very unpredictable.”
Müller is not your classical no. 9 but he led the forward line pretty well yesterday, dropping deep into pockets of space as the wide forwards on either side of him in the Germans’ three-man attack namely Mesut Özil and Mario Götze were allowed to play inside, which allowed the likes of Kroos and Sami Khedira made runs from deep. Portugal, who tried to play down the flanks, just could not keep up with Germans as they were outnumbered.
So here are 10 interesting facts about German superstar Thomas Muller:
1) Early football career: Born in Weilheim, Bavaria, Müller’s first club local club was TSV Pähl. He was destined for greatness from formative years as one of his Family friend Wolfgang Tuffentsamer describes German star, “He stood out playing for Pähl very early on. I remember one season where we scored 165 goals, and Müller bagged 120 of them.”
2) Start of Proffessional football: In the year 2000, at the age of 11, he swapped small-town Pähl for the cosmopolitan Bavarian capital and the biggest club in Germany – FC Bayern Munich. Progressing steadily through the youth ranks, Müller was part of the side who finished runners-up in the U-19 Bundesliga in 2007. By the beginning of the 2009/08 season he was already on the fringes of the first team.
3) Senior Team Debut: Müller was handed a senior team debut, at Bayern Munich, by Jürgen Klinsmann back in 2008, but it was under Klinsmann’s descendant Louis van Gaal that his career moved forward, the Dutch Genius picked him for every single league game in the 2009/10 Bundesliga season, as well as the UEFA Champions League final, which Bayern lost to Inter Milan. When van Gaal left the club, an upset Müller said, “It’s sad for me because he was my mentor. FC Bayern are losing a great coach.”
4) Achivements at last World Cup: The Bayern Munich star Muller won the golden boot at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa with five goals from just six games. He was also named best young player of the tournament as Germany finished a credible third in 2010.
5) International Career: Muller has netted 20 goals in 50 internationals matches for Die Mannschaft, including a goal in the 4-1 defeat of England at the 2010 World Cup and scored the first goal in the 4-0 victory over Argentina in Quarter Final.
6) Club Career: On to his club career now where he has played 165 matches for Bayern Munich scoring 58 goals from 2008 to 2014. He has played almost every game for Bayern in 2012 as the club won the league and cup double and reached the Champions League final where he scored against Chelsea.
7) Future Road-Map: Muller has just signed a new contract that will keep him at Bayern Munich until 2019, despite interest from a host of big clubs from Europe, including Barcelona, Manchester United and Liverpool, ready to pay a whopping 40 million euro transfer fee.
8) Muller Resemblance with another Muller: Muller’s father is called Gerhard but he has no resemblance to former German international Gerd Mueller, the renowned ‘Der Bomber’ who and a legend in the 1970s. The two have, however, did an advertisement together. Gerd is on record saying he was an admirer of Thomas’s talents.
9) Muller’s nickname: Muller himself him as “ramdeuter” (a German word), which in English translates as ‘space investigator.’ He named himself as such because his strength as an attacker is not dribbling, passing or shooting but “in finding space.”
10) Germans and Penalties – A better love story that Twilight: As Gary Linekar said about Germans and Penalties: “At the end the Germans always win.” So it was no surprise that Müller has developed a particular knack for netting in penalties. One of his main strength is, as his national coach Loew says, is focus and a remarkably cool temperament under pressure situation. He has perfect technique to take spot kicks as rather than looking at the ball, during the run-up, he keeps his eyes fixed on the goalkeeper, which in turn helps him to slot the ball in opposite direction to where Keeper dives.