Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller celebrated his 400th Bundesliga appearance in style. - © imago/ DFL
Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller celebrated his 400th Bundesliga appearance in style. - © imago/ DFL

Thomas Müller: MD17's Man of the Matchday on his 400th Bundesliga appearance


Four-hundred Bundesliga appearances into a decorated career, Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller is still doing what he does best.

Müller became the 70th member of the Bundesliga's 400 club against Wolfsburg on Matchday 17, marking the occassion with his 133rd goal and 151th assist. That equates to a direct hand in a goal every 1.40 games since making his top-flight debut 13 years ago - a league-high contribution since data collection records began in 1992.

"I'm still enjoying it," Müller told after the 4-0 rout that sent Bayern nine points clear at the halfway point in the 2021/22 season. "I play football because it's fun. But what is fun about football? Scoring goals, winning games!"

Müller has won more of those than any currently active Bundesliga player, while only teammate Manuel Neuer has made more top-flight appearances among his contemporaries.

If Bayern go on to defend their crown for a 10th successive season, Der Raumdeuter will claim the outright record for most Bundesliga title wins. He's currently tied on 10, with former Bayern defender David Alaba.

It stands to reason he will also surpass goalkeeping duo Sepp Maier (664) and Oliver Kahn (632) as Bayern's record appearance-maker in all competitions, sooner rather than later. He already leads the way for outfield players (607), and is showing no signs of slowing at 32 years of age.

Watch: Thomas Müller, aka Mr. Bayern

After 17 matches, Müller heads the 2021/22 Bundesliga assists charts on 13 - five more than nearest challenger Florian Wirtz of Bayer Leverkusen. It's another historic high at this stage in a season, and has him firmly on course to finish the campaign as the division's top provider for the third year on the spin.

Müller may even break his own 21-assist record of 2019/20 along the way. Back then he ended the Hinrunde with 10 provisions to show for his efforts. Not bad for a player rejected by Zürich for "running like a duck", after Bayern had offered him to the Swiss side on a short-term loan in 2008/09. Quackers, or what?!

Müller's fifth Bundesliga goal of the season was also his 11th in 23 career meetings with Wolfsburg - a personal best. - via images/MIS

Bayern head coach Julian Nagelsmann certainly thinks so. "Thomas is a very important player, especially when the stadium is empty," he said recently of his initiable creator-in-chief, affectioanly known within the camp as 'Radio Müller'.

"His emotions and communication play a really imporant role, though sometimes he asks for the ball too much. And of course, his incredible feel for space make him such a difficult opponent.

"He'll manage two to four more years easily. He's always driven to play all the time and be the best, so why should I do without a player of such quality?"