Summary

  • Müller praises Guardiola's attention to detail.
  • Believes Bayern dominated DFB Cup final against Dortmund.
  • Scored from 12 yards as Bayern prevailed 4-3 on penalties.

Thomas Müller says FC Bayern München are all the better for three years of tactical refinement under outgoing head coach Pep Guardiola.

Speaking after helping the 25-time Bundesliga champions overcome Borussia Dortmund on penalties in the final of the 2016 DFB Cup, the Germany international forward reviewed Pep's last hurrah in the Bayern dugout and discussed the lasting impression he has left on the club.

Question: Thomas Müller, how relieved are you to have come out on top after 120 minutes?

Thomas Müller: Penalties are always brutal, but if they go well then they're brutally nice.

Question: Sven Bender and Sokratis missed from the spot for Dortmund. Do you have sympathy for the two of them?

Müller: That happens in penalty shootouts. We've experienced that first-hand. It's nothing new in football. If you take into account the game as a whole, we were clearly the better team, but we could also have lost and that's why we're so happy. It's the perfect ending to the season.

Question: Have you still got the strength to celebrate with the fans in Munich on Sunday?

Müller: We'll definitely get right into it on Sunday. Then we'll see what happens after that. I must admit, I'm pretty knackered. Playing 120 minutes is tough, the cramp I was suffering took a bit out of me. When you end up on the winning team, it feels really great.

Müller admits Bayern's DFB Cup final triumph took its toll physically.

Question: You missed a penalty not long ago. Do you still think of the Champions League semi-final against Atletico Madrid when you missed an important spot kick?

Müller: Yes, I do. Of course I thought about it, but I can look at myself better in the mirror if I step up and try again. Nothing scares me. It wouldn't have sat well with me if I'd have said I'm not taking one in the shootout. I took the ball, believed in my technique and put it away. A few players insisted on taking one. I said I'm shattered, but I'm still there mentally. I took the bull by the horns, like Oliver Kahn back in the day.

Question: It was Pep Guardiola's final game as Bayern head coach. After the game, the usually level-headed coach couldn't hold back the tears. Did his emotional outburst surprise you?

Müller: No, I wasn't surprised. When the season's over, you can be human again and not just a machine. The pressure's off. Pep's departure could have gone one of two ways. For outsiders, defeat would have been a blot to his copybook. That was clear to him before the game, so that's why you saw an outpouring of emotions afterwards. I can understand that.

The 26-year-old has now won Germany's domestic cup four times since turning professional in 2009.

Question: Was it always the plan for the coach to raise the trophy aloft at the award ceremony?

Müller: You don't have to be a romantic to see what was going on. He invested a lot in his three years in Munich. I don't think it's much fun to watch four games of your upcoming opponents when you already know the results. You also have to look behind the scenes to judge the work of other people. Even if he wasn't always as obliging with the media as they'd have liked, you have to respect the work he put in on the pitch.

Question: What did you learn from him?

Müller: I learnt a lot. He made us better tactically. You see that in every game, including against BVB. We were completely in control of a team that doesn't just play on the counter like under Jürgen Klopp. They hardly ever got in behind us. Thomas Tuchel is also a great coach, who can react immediately to situations, but we always had the right answer. We were well prepared. Obviously, I wouldn't be able to say that if we'd have lost on penalties, but we completely dominated.

Alexander Barklage reporting from Berlin