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Thomas Müller: 10 things on the Bayern Munich and Germany Raumdeuter


Thomas Müller: a multiple title winner with Bayern Munich - the club with whom he is rapidly approaching 450 senior appearances - and a world champion with Germany. There may be little left for the self-proclaimed Space Invader to win, but the Bavarian's thirst for on-field success will only be quenched when he finally hangs up his boots.

bundesliga.com offers you ten things on the man who simply wants to be remembered as a team player...

Slim pickings - but Thomas Müller still packs a mighty punch within his slender frame. - © DFL DEUTSCHE FUSSBALL LIGA / Alexander Scheuber

1. Outstanding early potential

There isn't a football fan the world over who doesn't recognise him - and even many who have no interest in the game will still clock that unmistakable face and figure and instantly know him as the Bayern Munich and Germany star. Thomas Müller was first recognised for his immense footballing quality while playing with local team TSV Pähl, where a friend recalled, "He stood out playing for Pähl very early on. I remember one season where we scored 165 goals, and Müller bagged 120 of them." With numbers like that, it was little wonder he signed for Bayern at just 10 years of age.

2. Famous physique

Years later, now standing at 6'1" and weighing a little over 161 pounds, Müller is in stark contrast to the likes of the muscle-bound colossus that is teammate Niklas Süle. "He doesn't have any muscle, only skin and bones," Arjen Robben once joked when asked why it was that Müller rarely got injured. What he lacks in weight, however, the impeccably perceptive attacker makes up for in positional awareness, perseverance, goal-poaching ability and a tactical reading of the game that few can match. "Thomas sometimes does things without knowing how he’s done them," goalkeeper Sven Ulreich once said of the forward’s sixth sense. "It's a big relief as a goalkeeper to be on the same side as him!"

3. Fun at the heart of the Müller philosophy

Let's face it, Thomas Müller is one of the happiest characters in the world game. Few others express their emotions as freely as the 28-year-old, and here the forward explains why: "You have to sacrifice a lot of things and you have to suffer a bit, hurt a bit, but you must never lose the fun of it," he said. "You have to draw positive energy from the game, and then many things are possible." Things like winning six Bundesliga titles, four DFB Cups and the Champions League with his boyhood club.  

4. Horsing around

Since 2009, Müller has been married to Lisa, an equestrian and professional horse breeder. She recently posted an Instagram video of Thomas taking to the stables to receive some kicking tips from a filly named Filou! Herr Müller obviously takes a keen interest in Lisa's dressage career, watching her at events whenever he can. The forward even admitted that seeing his other half compete in the saddle is "more nerve-racking than being out on the pitch!"

Müller remains one of Germany's most important players, renowned for his World Cup goals. - © gettyimages / Odd Anderson

5. A new literary star?

Thomas Müller had a dream, and he achieved it. Forever the Bayern fan, he took every step towards accomplishing his goal as he rose through the ranks of his favourite club and he has now penned a children's book aimed at inspiring youngsters to follow their own aims. "I want to make reading exciting for young football fans by telling them my story," Müller said, on announcing the scheduled release of his book Mein Weg zum Traumverein (The path to my dream club). "I've always enjoyed reading, so this book is a project close to my heart and I can say that anyone who reads it will be at an advantage, especially in football!"

Watch: Goals, goals, goals! Feast on this Bundesliga 100 from Müller!

6. Record breaker

Müller's aggressive forward running was mirrored by his race towards becoming the fastest player to reach 200 Bundesliga wins during the 2017/18 campaign. It was on Matchday 22 – when the global footballing phenomenon netted the winning goal against Schalke – that he broke Bastian Schweinsteiger's previous best mark. Müller reached the milestone victory after just 275 Bundesliga games and said after that win against the Royal Blues, "I always put the same amount of effort into every game: sometimes you don't get what you deserve, sometimes you do. That's why you need to enjoy successful days like today when they come along."

7. Keen card player

Müller has helped to raise money for various charities by partaking in tournaments of his favourite card game, Schafkopf. Originating in Bavaria, the game requires four players and falls under the 'trick-taking' genre of card games. Indeed, Müller was suitably delighted when Mats Hummels signed for Bayern as the defender is also a keen player and thus helped to complete four-player games that also involved Manuel Neuer and Philipp Lahm. Who Lahm has been replaced with at the card table since his retirement is a question worth asking!

Quiz: How well do you know Thomas Müller?

8. "Get that ball boy out of here!"

Understandably beaming following his international debut against Argentina on 3 March 2010, the young Müller was sitting proudly in the press conference when one Diego Maradona entered the room. Mistaking the young attacker for a ballboy, Maradona insisted Müller leave before the then coach of the Albiceleste took his place at the top table. Later that year, at the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, Müller was on target in a 4-0 Germany win against Maradona's charges in the quarter-finals. "He doesn't think I'm a ballboy anymore," Müller quipped afterwards.

9. Legendary international status awaits

Müller has enjoyed a highly successful international career to date. Voted best young player at the World Cup in South Africa – where Germany finished third - he also won the Golden Boot after scoring five goals and providing three assists. Crowned a world champion at the 2014 finals, he netted the opener in that famous 7-1 win semi-final against hosts Brazil, which was Germany's 2,000th international goal. It was also the forward's 10th goal in 12 World Cup games. With compatriot Miroslav Klose leading the all-time World Cup scoring charts with 16 goals, Müller will likely still have an eye on that record when the 2022 tournament comes around in Qatar.

10. The ultimate team player

Even despite all the records and trophies, don’t expect the Bavarian to be yearning for global recognition in the form of a Ballon d'Or triumph. "I'm not made for the Ballon d'Or," he once said. "That's an individual distinction and I see myself as a team player. If I could choose between the Ballon d'Or and winning the World Cup with my team, I would always choose the World Cup." Indeed, being a team player is the most apt description of the player known as the Raumdeuter – or space invader – because of his incredible versatility to operate on the wing, behind the striker or as a false nine. Thomas Müller really does have it all.

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