Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller believes young breakouts such as Jamal Musiala represent an exciting future for both club and country, but the 31-year-old revealed his teenage teammates still have a job on their hands if they are to keep up with him at the Allianz Arena.
In over two decades with the club, Müller has seen some of the best players in the world come and go in Munich - outlasting them all in the process.
And last season, Müller produced one of his best season’s to date in a Bayern shirt as they romped to an unprecedented sextuplet of trophies in 2020.
Müller has been no less effective this term and is again the league leader in assists (14) as Bayern have, so far, held off RB Leipzig in the title race and advanced to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League in their bid to successfully defend both.
Bayern’s continued success in 2020/21 under Hansi Flick has also seen the likes of Musiala emerge from the youth team and the newly-minted Germany international is seen by many as Müller’s natural eventual successor.
Watch: All of Müller's goals and assists in 2020/21 so far
The Weilheim native isn’t quite ready to hand the baton over to his young colleague just yet, though. Müller told the Mail on Sunday: “They keep me on my toes for sure [these teenagers] and they keep my body in shape. But I think the other way round. I keep them on their toes! And they have to know that when they start playing for Bayern, it doesn’t matter which age, they have to win.
“So they have no time …. ‘OK, so I take a look in the next few years and I watch the older players and have to learn.’ That’s part of the process [of developing]… but [they need to think] ‘while I’m playing I have to do everything to win.’”
Musiala signed a new long-term deal with Bayern earlier this month before committing his international future to Germany ahead of England.
The 18-year-old went on to make his debut with Die Mannschaft in their 3-0 win over Iceland and Müller believes Musiala’s decisions will benefit the shared future of everyone involved.
“We're very happy in Germany that Jamal decided for Germany,” Müller added. “The set-up now, with his long contract to play in Bayern and decision for the German national team, fits very well.”
Germany coach Joachim Löw recently opened the door for Müller to add to his 100 caps for the national team, suggesting that Müller, Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels could return to the international fold at this summer’s UEFA European Championship.
All three were FIFA World Cup winners under Löw in 2014 but haven’t represented Germany since 2018.
Müller has far from given up on his international future, and said: “I hope there is a chance to see me in the Euros, but we will see what happens in the next weeks.”