- Müller looks ahead to Der Klassiker against title rivals Dortmund.
- Attacker says winning in Dortmund "a real challenge".
- Believes Bayern still have plenty of room for improvement.
FC Bayern München attacker Thomas Müller may not have scored in the Bundesliga yet this season, but the Germany international will nevertheless undoubtedly be one of the key figures in Der Klassiker away to Borussia Dortmund on Saturday evening.
In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com, the 27-year-old discusses the significance of the fixture, why he does not consider himself to be especially talented, and Bayern's development under new coach Carlo Ancelotti.
bundesliga.com: Thomas Müller, after meeting the Pope, the next special moment is on the horizon…
Müller: You could see it that way, although there is no comparison. Meeting the Pope is something pretty special, which I'm very grateful for. Playing against Borussia Dortmund is not as special as visiting the Pope, but in a sporting sense, it's certainly extremely exciting.
bundesliga.com: You named Dortmund as one of the best teams in the Bundesliga and said they were one of the favourites for the title, alongside Bayern…
Müller: BVB have signed many players with huge quality and they're one of the best teams in the Bundesliga, and I stand by that.
bundesliga.com: Is it important in terms of motivation for you and Bayern to have such strong rivals in the Bundesliga?
Müller: It's very positive to have a strong BVB and that does give us extra motivation because then it becomes all the more enjoyable to beat Dortmund. It's certainly also positive for the Bundesliga when BVB are strong. Last season Dortmund put up a good fight and they set a new record for a club finishing second. It's the most beautiful game of the year when you play in Dortmund, also because it is the toughest. Winning there is the hardest because it's a real challenge, while it's also a big occasion for the fans as it's so exciting. There's a lot of quality in the Bundesliga and you can see that every weekend.
Watch: Check out the top five goals from past Klassiker meetings, including a belter from Müller:
bundesliga.com: A lot of people still feel that Bayern have not yet found their feet under Carlo Ancelotti, do you agree?
Müller: It's like in any company when there is a change in personnel: everybody has got to get used to each other all over again. That's the same here. When a new coach comes, he brings new ideas and new procedures and you've got to adapt to them and everything has got to come together. It's a challenge for any team, no matter what league you're in. We're extremely focused and convinced that we have improved in recent weeks and that there's still room for further improvement. The fact is we want to win every game – that's what's expected of FC Bayern.
bundesliga.com: You are renowned for finding gaps which do not seem to be there…
Müller: (Smiles) People seem to talk a lot about that, but I don't see it so mystically. There are gaps that can become dangerous in football and it's all about being in the right place at the right time. That's what my team expect of me and my colleagues in attack and I, like my partners, try to do myself justice.
bundesliga.com: So you don't think you are an especially talented player?
Müller: To put it bluntly, no. The thing that is perhaps strange is that when you look at Thomas Müller as the whole, you can't really find any individual strengths in me that you could call extraordinary. There are many around who dribble the ball better than me, who are quicker or shoot harder than me. But the overall package of Thomas Müller is still up there among the very best in Germany, if not the world. Maybe that's what leads to such assessments, because it's hard to fathom, but there's nothing secret about Thomas Müller.
bundesliga.com: So what is your game all about?
Müller: Like I said, it's about being in the right place at the right time. It's about having faith in your ability and understanding what the team need. I see myself first and foremost as part of the team. That means that I sometimes have to kick the ball into the stands rather than try to stand out by doing something spectacular.
bundesliga.com: So you've remained rather pragmatic…
Müller: What do you mean by 'remained'? It's what I am.
Interview by Oliver Trust / translation by Ben Gladwell