A random drug test meant Thomas Müller had to wait until almost midnight to speak to the media after the Red’s game with Arsenal FC in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, but the long delay had done nothing to dampen his spirits.
The Germany international produced another devastating display to finish with a brace twice in a 5-1 thrashing of the Gunners, exacting revenge for Arsenal’s win in London a fortnight ago and taking Bayern a step closer to the knockout stages. In the bowels of the Allianz Arena, the 25-year-old discussed arguably the team’s best performance of the season and where their current form can take them.
Thomas Müller, to what extend has this result already secured your place in the Champions League knockout stages?
Thomas Müller: It was a key match for us and we’ve taken a massive step towards the next round. Before the game, there was a bit of pressure on us and the situation in the group was a bit tighter than it is now. Playing at home, we wanted to put on a good show and it worked out well.
Did losing 2-0 to Arsenal two weeks ago gave you added motivation here?
Müller: We were obviously really up for the game and absolutely wanted to win it. In the second half, we had to track back a lot after unnecessarily losing the ball a few times. Maybe it was down to the situation we were in that we were a bit complacent. We’re only human, but we’re working on stamping that out.
You scored your 31st and 32nd European goals and are now ahead of Karl-Heinz Rummenigge on the list of Bayern’s European goalscorers. Have you heard anything from him yet?
Müller: I’ve just come from a drug test so I hadn’t seen anything about that, but it’s really nice to know. I’m pleased to have achieved it, as he’s a big name in European and world football.
Only another 34 to go until you catch Gerd Müller…
Müller: Exactly. That will be a bit more difficult but I'll try my best (laughs).
Manuel Neuer says if you play for Bayern until you’re 35, you can manage it. What do you say to that?
Müller: Then I could do it, but playing for Bayern until I’m 35 would mean playing at this level for 15 years, which isn’t that easy, physically or mentally. But let’s let ourselves be surprised. Perhaps it’ll happen, who knows.
In your current form, how far can Bayern go in the tournament?
Müller: It could take us anywhere. We just want to go as far as we can.
Maximilian Lotz reporting from Munich