Thomas Müller (l.) has equalled Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer’s (r.) total of 396 Bundesliga appearances for the club. - © photoarena / Thomas Eisenhuth/imago/photoarena/Eisenhuth
Thomas Müller (l.) has equalled Bayern Munich legend Franz Beckenbauer’s (r.) total of 396 Bundesliga appearances for the club. - © photoarena / Thomas Eisenhuth/imago/photoarena/Eisenhuth
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Thomas Müller matches Franz Beckenbauer for Bundesliga appearances with Bayern Munich

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Thomas Müller made his 396th Bundesliga appearance for Bayern Munich, drawing level with the great Franz Beckenbauer for league games with the club.

Müller, 32, matched Der Kaiser’s total on Matchday 13 of 2021/22 at home to Arminia Bielefeld. It puts him joint sixth on the club’s all-time list of appearances in the Bundesliga since the record champions were first promoted in 1965.

Top of the pile is Sepp Maier (473), with a gap then down to Oliver Kahn (429) and Gerd Müller (427). Georg Schwarzenbeck (416) and Klaus Augenthaler (404) can both be caught by Müller this season. The self-appointed Raumdeuter has started every match in 2021/22 and will surpass Schwarzenbeck by one if he keeps that up until the end of the campaign.

Watch: Thomas Müller – Mr Bayern

Müller’s now 396 appearances have seen him amass 10 winner’s medals – including the last nine in a row – which is a record he holds together with David Alaba and will claim outright if Bayern retain the Meisterschale once again.

He has scored 133 goals in first 395 games and provided over 150 assists since making his debut – by chance also against Bielefeld – back in April 2009 as a last-minute substitute for Luca Toni under Jürgen Klinsmann.

The Bavarian native, who joined the Bayern academy at the age of 11, also brought up his 600th competitive appearance for the club the previous matchday against Augsburg. He’s the first outfield player to reach that total in the Bundesliga era, which had only previously been achieved by goalkeepers Maier and Kahn.

Beckenbauer (r.) presented Müller (c.) with the Golden Boot as the 2010 World Cup’s top scorer. - imago sportfotodienst/imago sportfotodienst

As well as those 10 Bundesliga titles, Müller has lifted the DFB Cup six times, the UEFA Champions League twice as part of trebles in 2013 and 2020, seven DFL Supercups, two UEFA Super Cups, two FIFA Club World Cups, and of course the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Germany to become his country’s most decorated player ever.

Beckenbauer himself is regarded as one of the greatest players the world has ever seen, twice winning the Ballon d’Or, captaining West Germany to 1974 World Cup glory, the 1972 European Championship title, winning the Bundesliga five times (four with Bayern), four DFB Cups, Bayern’s first continental honour with the 1966/67 European Cup Winners’ Cup and three consecutive European Cups between 1974 and 1976.

Watch: Beckenbauer’s top 5 Bayern goals

Der Kaiser later coached Germany at two World Cups, reaching the final in 1986 and then winning it at Italia 90. He’s one of only three men to be world champion as a player and a coach, and one of just two to do so as captain (with Didier Deschamps). He had two brief spells in charge back at Bayern, winning the 1995/96 UEFA Cup and the 1993/94 Bundesliga, having taken up the role as club president in 1994.

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