Thomas Müller

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Thomas Müller
FIFA WC-qualification 2014 - Austria vs. Germany 2012-09-11 - Thomas Müller 01.JPG
Müller with Germany in 2012
Personal information
Full name Thomas Müller[1]
Date of birth (1989-09-13) 13 September 1989 (age 24)
Place of birth Weilheim, West Germany
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)[2]
Playing position Forward / Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current club Bayern Munich
Number 25
Youth career
1993–2000 TSV Pähl
2000–2008 Bayern Munich
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2009 Bayern Munich II 35 (16)
2008– Bayern Munich 161 (57)
National team
2004–2005 Germany U16 6 (4)
2007 Germany U19 1 (0)
2008 Germany U20 1 (1)
2009–2010 Germany U21 6 (1)
2010– Germany 47 (16)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19:10, 12 April 2014 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20:51, 15 November 2013 (UTC)[3]

Thomas Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈtʰoː.mas ˈmʏ.lɐ]; born 13 September 1989) is a German footballer who plays for Bayern Munich and the German national team. Müller plays as a midfielder or forward, and has been deployed in a variety of attacking roles—as an attacking midfielder, second striker, and on either wing. He has been praised for his positioning, team work and stamina, and has shown consistency in scoring and creating goals. A product of Bayern's youth system, he made his first-team breakthrough in the 2009–10 season after Louis van Gaal was appointed as the main coach; he played almost every game as the club won the league and cup double and reached the Champions League final. This accomplishment earned him an international call-up, and at the end of the season he was named in Germany's squad for the 2010 World Cup, where he scored five goals in six appearances as the team finished in third place. He was named as the Best Young Player of the tournament and won the Golden Boot as the tournament's top scorer, with five goals and three assists. He also scored Bayern's only goal in the Champions League final in 2012, with the team eventually losing on penalties.

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Born in Weilheim, Müller played as a youth for TSV Pähl, and at the age of 10 he made the 50 km journey to join local Bundesliga side Bayern Munich in 2000.[4] He progressed through the youth system and was part of the team that finished runner-up in the Under 19 Bundesliga in 2007.[4] He made his debut for the reserve team in March 2008 when he replaced Stephan Fürstner in a Regionalliga match against SpVgg Unterhaching,[5] in which he scored. He made two more Regionalliga appearances in the 2007–08 season, while continuing to play for the under-19 team. The following season, Bayern's second string qualified for the newly formed 3. Liga, and Müller established himself as a key player – he played in 32 out of 38 matches[6] and scored 15 times to make him the league's fifth top scorer.[7] He also became involved in the first-team under then manager Jürgen Klinsmann; he appeared in pre-season friendlies,[8][9] and made his full debut on 15 August 2008, when he came on as a substitute for Miroslav Klose for the last ten minutes of a Bundesliga match against Hamburger SV.[10] Despite Müller feeling that his performance did not go well,[11] he made three more Bundesliga appearances that season[6] and made his Champions League debut on 10 March 2009 when he was substituted on in the 72nd minute for Bastian Schweinsteiger in a 7–1 win over Sporting CP. He scored Bayern's last goal as they won the tie 12–1 on aggregate.[12]

Bayern Munich[edit]

In February 2009, Müller signed his first contract for the senior team, a two-year deal effective from the 2009–10 season, along with reserve team-mate Holger Badstuber.[13] He was prepared to be loaned or even transferred away to find first-team football,[11] but when Louis van Gaal was appointed manager, both players became fixtures in the Bayern first team from the start of the season.[14] In the first few matches Müller was a regular substitute, and on 12 September 2009, he was brought on against Borussia Dortmund and scored two goals in a 5–1 victory.[15] Three days later, he scored another brace in a 3–0 Champions League victory over Maccabi Haifa.[16] He rounded off September by being named the Bundesliga player of the month[17] and earned praise from his namesake, legendary former Bayern and Germany striker Gerd Müller.[18] After the Haifa match, Müller was in the starting eleven for almost every match,[19] only missing one match – a Champions League match against Bordeaux, for which he was suspended,[20] because he was sent off in an earlier match against the same team.[21]

In February 2010, Müller signed a new contract with Bayern Munich through 2013.[22] During the second half of the season, Müller continued to be a regular first-team starter,[14] usually playing in a central striking role due to the availability of other wide players Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben. In April 2010, he scored the second goal in a 2–1 win against title rivals Schalke 04,[23] and in the penultimate league match of the season, he scored the first hat-trick of his career,[24] in a 3–1 win over Bochum which effectively secured the German title for Bayern.[25] The title was confirmed a week later with a 3–1 win at Hertha BSC,[26][27] a match which Müller started. For the season he played in all 34 Bundesliga matches, starting 29, and recorded 13 goals and 11 assists.[14] Bayern and Müller were back in Berlin the following week, to face Werder Bremen in the final of the DFB-Pokal. Müller started the match and Bayern won 4–0 to complete the domestic double.[28] Müller scored four goals and made two assists during the competition, which made him its leading scorer for the season.[29] Bayern's season ended in pursuit of a first treble, in the 2010 Champions League Final against Internazionale at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. It was not to be, however, as they lost 2–0, with both goals coming from Diego Milito. Müller was in the starting line-up and had a key chance just after half-time, with Bayern 1–0 down, but his shot was saved by Júlio César.[30] Müller felt particularly disappointed by this defeat,[11] but he ended his first season as a first-team player with 52 matches played and 19 goals in all competitions.[14] In a poll conducted by the sports magazine kicker, he was voted by his fellow professionals as the best newcomer of the 2009–10 season[31] and was named in the Bundesliga team of the season.[32] Müller credits Van Gaal for having had the biggest part to play in his rise to success – the coach arrived with a reputation for promoting youth team players, particularly at Ajax, and consistently gave Müller his chance in the first-team, going as far to say "Müller spielt bei mir immer" (with me, Müller will always play).[33] Müller, in return, described Van Gaal as "a genius technician", who makes players "improve every time".[11]

2010–11 season[edit]

Müller returned from his post-World Cup break to sign another contract extension, this time extending his stay at Bayern until 2015.[34] As with all of Bayern's World Cup participants, he missed much of pre-season,[35] and his first match back was the Supercup against Schalke 04 on 7 August.[36] He was named in the starting 11, and scored the opening goal in a 2–0 win.[37] Two weeks later he scored the opening goal of Bayern's league season in a 2–1 home win against VfL Wolfsburg.[38] Müller played in every match of the first half of the season, usually as a starter,[39] but as the team struggled for results, Müller was unable to match the previous season's goalscoring exploits,[39] being dropped to the bench,[33] and even receiving a telling off from Louis van Gaal after missing an easy chance in a 2–0 defeat against 1. FC Kaiserslautern in August.[11][40] He was philosophical about this dip in form, though,[41] and after eight league games without a goal, he scored in a 4–1 win against Eintracht Frankfurt on 27 November;[42] He followed that by scoring in consecutive league and cup wins against VfB Stuttgart three weeks later.[43][44] These goals took his tally to eight goals in all competitions[39] and included a spectacular goal to open the scoring in a 2–0 Champions League victory against Roma on 15 September.[11][45] As his team was on its winter break, Müller was left to reflect on "an almost unbelievable first year as a pro".[41] Müller began the second half of the season in good form, but was involved in an altercation with team-mate Arjen Robben, who was angered when Müller showed his displeasure at a poor free-kick Robben took during a 3–1 win at Werder Bremen.[46] Müller again played in every game of the season and scored 19 goals (12 in the league),[citation needed] but the season was less successful for Bayern, as they finished third in the league,[47] and were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in the semi-finals by Schalke 04[48] and in the round of 16 of the UEFA Champions League by Internazionale; Bayern had won 1–0 in the San Siro, and Müller scored 31 minutes into the second leg to make it 3–1 on aggregate, but Inter levelled the score at 3–3 in the 88th minute, to go through on the away goals rule.[49] Müller's mentor Van Gaal was increasingly criticised for inflexibility in tactical, transfer and selection policy,[50] and ultimately lost his job, being replaced with Jupp Heynckes.[51]

2011–12 season[edit]

In Bayern's first DFB-Pokal game Müller was awarded the man of the match after earning two penalties which were converted by Mario Gómez and Bastian Schweinsteiger, Müller then added a third in the closing stages to secure a 3–0 victory over Eintracht Braunschweig.[52] It took Müller five matches for him to get his first league goal he scored it against Schalke 04 in Bayern's 2–0 win. Müller then scored in Bayern's next home game in the early stages of the match, Bayern went on to win the game 3–0. On 26 November 2011, Müller netted the opener on the half-hour in Bayern's 6–0 thrashing of FC Ingolstadt 04 giving him his second DFB-Pokal goal.[53] Müller was on the short-list of this year's FIFA Ballon d'Or award.[54] On 10 and 15 January, in Bayern's warm up friendlies Müller scored three goals in two games, a brace against the India national team (which Bayern then went on to win 4–0)[55] and one goal in Bayern's other 4–0 victory over Rot-Weiß Erfurt.[56] Müller provided two assists in Bayern's win over VfB Stuttgart in the DFB-Pokal. On 11 February, Bayern played 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Müller ended a goal drought lasting since 24 September 2011 with a header in their 2–0 victory.[57] On 31 March 2012, Müller played his 100th Bundesliga game against 1. FC Nürnberg.[58][59] On 19 May 2012, Müller scored the opening goal in the UEFA Champions League final with a powerful header. He was substituted shortly afterwards. Bayern Munich however lost the final on penalties. Müller stated how dissatisfied he was about the amount of time he had spent on the bench recently.[60] Müller said that although he was dissatisfied he wanted to stay at Bayern.[60]

2012–13 season[edit]

Müller's first Bundesliga goal of the season came over 2. Bundesliga champions SpVgg Greuther Fürth in Bayern's 3–0 victory on 27 August 2012.[61] On 2 September, he netted a brace as Bayern thrashed southern rivals Stuttgart, 6–1, in front of 71,000 at the newly expanded Allianz Arena.[62][63] Müller helped Bayern achieve a record-breaking start to the league season, when he netted a brace over newly promoted Fortuna Düsseldorf on 20 October in their 5–0 victory, recording Bayern's eighth successive win.[64] Three days later, he scored his first Champions League goal of the season, netting from the penalty spot, as Bayern defeated Lille 1–0 at the French side's newly built Grand Stade Lille Métropole.[65]

On 13 December, after his good run of form in the first half of the Bundesliga season, Müller pledged his allegiance claiming he was at home in Munich and that "There is no club to step up from when you leave FC Bayern ... there almost is no better club."[66] Six days later, he signed a two-year contract extension, keeping him at the Allianz Arena until 2017.[67] At the winter break in the Bundesliga, he had nine goals and seven assists in 16 league appearances and a further three goals in the Champions League.[66] Giving him a total of thirteen goals halfway through the season, including his strike against Borussia Dortmund in Bayern's win in the 2012 DFL-Supercup. Müller scored his first goal in Bayern's second game back from the break in a 2–0 away win over VfB Stuttgart. Müller tapped in his fifth goal of the Champions League campaign on 2 April, completing a 2–0 first leg defeat of Juventus in the quarter-finals, ending the Italian club's 18-match unbeaten record in Europe.[68] On 23 April 2013, Müller scored two goals and gave one assist in 4–0 win against FC Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final in the Allianz Arena.[69] On the return fixture, Müller scored a header as Bayern won 3–0 and gave Barcelona their biggest defeat ever in the UEFA Champions League, with a 7–0 aggregate score.[70] Müller then went on to play an important role in Bayern's 2–1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the final. On 1 June, Müller scored a penalty in the final of the 2012–13 DFB-Pokal.[71] Bayern won the cup 3–2 to complete a historic treble. Müller scored 23 goals overall in the season (including all competitions), netting 13 in the Bundesliga, one in the Pokal and an impressive eight in the Champions League, he also added one in the 2012 DFL-Supercup which Bayern won 2–1.[72] This topped off Müller's highest scoring season to date.[73]

2013–14 season[edit]

Müller began the 2013–14 season with a bright start scoring in 7 of Bayern's 12 pre-season games. On 5 August in Bayern's 2013–14 DFB-Pokal first round game against Schwarz-Weiß Rehden Müller scored a hat-trick as Bayern won 5–0. In Bayern's opening 2013–14 Bundesliga game Müller missed a penalty for the first time. But just seconds later the save from the penalty flicked the hand of Álvaro Domínguez which resulted in another penalty which David Alaba put away. After this Müller stated "I am still happy to take penalties, but I think David Alaba is the main man for spot kicks for now." Bayern then faced Hannover 96 in the second round of the DFB-Pokal on 25 September. Müller scored twice taking his DFB-Pokal tally to five goals in just two games. Then on 28 September, Bayern faced VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga. Müller scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory giving him his first goal in the 2013–14 Bundesliga. Bayern started October with a 2013–14 UEFA Champions League match against Manchester City on 2 October. Müller scored his first Champions League goal of the campaign and Bayern defeated Manchester City 3–1. He scored his second goal in the second leg match against Manchester United in Champions League, help home team advanced the next round. The match ended, 3–1 win for Bayern.

International career[edit]

Müller with Germany in 2011.
Müller is playing for Germany in 2011.
Müller playing for Germany in a UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying match against Austria.
Müller wearing the number 13 for Germany.

Müller represented Germany at various youth levels, starting with the under-16s in 2004.[74] In August 2009, he was called up to the under-21 team for his debut in a 3–1 friendly defeat against Turkey.[75] He earned six caps for the under-21s and scored one goal,[76] the eighth in an 11–0 thrashing of San Marino.[77]

In October of the same year, Müller's regular appearances for Bayern's first team caused German national team manager Joachim Löw to publicly consider him for a call-up,[78][79] despite initial reluctance from the Bayern Munich board;[80] the following month, Müller was named in the squad for a friendly against Côte d'Ivoire.[81] However, this coincided with the death of national team goalkeeper Robert Enke, which led to the cancellation of a match against Chile the same week.[82] With less opportunity to try out new players, and with the under-21 team facing crucial qualifiers for the 2011 European Championship, Löw and under-21 manager Rainer Adrion felt that Müller was needed at the under-21 level, and Müller was called back into the under-21s.[83]

He was back in the senior squad for its next get-together, a training session in Sindelfingen in January 2010,[84] and was named in the squad for the following match, a friendly against Argentina in March.[85] He made his debut in this game in the starting eleven at the Allianz Arena, his home stadium. He was substituted in the 66th minute for fellow debutant Toni Kroos as Germany lost 1–0.[86]

2010 World Cup[edit]

Müller was named in Germany's provisional 27-man squad for the 2010 World Cup along with seven other Bayern Munich players.[87] Despite suffering a scare when he fell off his bicycle at the team's training camp in South Tyrol,[88] Müller only received superficial injuries and made the final cut for the tournament when the squad was reduced to 23 players.[89] He was allocated the number 13,[90] normally worn by injured captain Michael Ballack,[90] and previously worn by Müller's namesake Gerd.[90] He earned his second international cap in the final warm-up match before the World Cup when he came on as a half-time substitute for Piotr Trochowski in a 3–1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina.[91] He started the first game of Germany's World Cup campaign and scored the third goal – his first internationally – in a 4–0 win over Australia,[92] winning Germany's goal of the month award in the process.[93] He played in all Germany's group games, as they finished top of Group D; he scored twice and assisted once in the 4–1 victory over England in the round of 16.[94] In the third minute of Germany's 4–0 quarter final win against Argentina, he opened the scoring with his fourth tournament goal.[95] However, he picked up his second booking of the tournament in the first half, for a handball[96] and was suspended for the semi-final defeat against Spain. Müller said that he felt far more nervous during the Spain game than any he was able to play.[11] He returned to the team for the third-place playoff against Uruguay and scored the first goal, his fifth of the tournament, as Germany won 3–2 to take the bronze medals.[97] The team's success was a culmination of a series of changes made after the national team's failure at Euro 2000. The Germans emphasized a more open, attack-minded style not previously associated with Germany, and included prominent young players, including Müller, Sami Khedira and Mesut Özil.[98]

With five goals Müller ended as joint top goalscorer of the tournament. He earned the Golden Boot with these goals and his three assists.[99] He also won the Best Young Player Award over fellow nominees André Ayew of Ghana and Giovani dos Santos of Mexico.[100] For both awards, he succeeded a German team-mate, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski, respectively, from 2006.[101]

In October 2010, he was named on the shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d'Or award along with four of his Germany team-mates.[102] Reflecting on his World Cup success, Müller said "I basically got lucky, I hit form at just the right time".[41]

Euro 2012[edit]

Müller started all ten of Germany's qualifiers for Euro 2012, as the team qualified for the finals with a 100% record. Müller provided assists for seven goals,[103] three of which came in a 6–2 win over Austria in September 2011 which secured Germany's qualification for the finals with two games to spare.[104] He scored three times in the campaign, two goals coming in a 4–0 win over Kazakhstan in March 2011,[105] the third in a 3–1 win over Turkey in October of the same year.[106]

Müller was included in Joachim Löw's squad for Euro 2012, where the Germans were knocked out in the semi-finals by Italy.

2014 World Cup[edit]

Müller scored his first World Cup qualifying goals on 22 March 2013, scoring Germany's opener and final goal in a 3–0 win away to Kazakhstan.[107] He scored again in the 3–0 victories over Austria and Faroe Islands.

Playing style[edit]

Müller's role can be described as an attacking all-rounder,[98] a player able to play in a variety of forward positions. As he came through the youth system, he was seen primarily as a midfielder,[11] but since breaking into the first-team he has been used in more forward roles. Both Bayern Munich and the Germany national team usually play a 4-2-3-1 formation, and Müller is most often part of the three attacking midfielders behind the central striker. He can play in any of the attacking midfield roles but usually plays in the center for Bayern Munich,[108] and on the right for Germany.[109] He has been used as an out-and-out striker on occasion.[110]

Müller has been praised for his maturity,[111] pace, technique,[112] awareness and positioning.[41] He has been particularly noted for his composure; Germany manager Joachim Löw said he is "impervious to pressure"[11] and former Bayern manager Louis van Gaal said he has tremendous mental strength.[41] A consistent scorer and creator of goals,[113] he describes himself as a player who can find gaps in the opposition defence but not particularly good at dribbling or one-on-ones.[11] Müller describes this role as Raumdeuter,[114] a term that translates to "interpreter of space".

Personal life[edit]

Müller was born in Weilheim, Upper Bavaria, and grew up in the nearby village of Pähl, which became the centre of media attention during his World Cup exploits.[115] His parents are named Klaudia and Gerhard, and he has a brother, named Simon, who is two and a half years younger.[115] He married girlfriend Lisa, a model[116] in December 2009, after being engaged for two years.[117] In June 2011 he became an ambassador for YoungWings, a charity that helps children who have suffered bereavement or trauma.[118]

Career statistics[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 17 April 2014.
Club performance League Cup Continental Other Total Ref.
Club League Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Germany League DFB-Pokal Europe1 Other2 Total
Bayern Munich II Regionalliga Süd 2007–08 3 1 3 1 [119]
3. Liga 2008–09 32 15 32 15 [120]
Total 35 16 35 16
Bayern Munich Bundesliga 2008–09 4 0 0 0 1 1 5 1 [120]
2009–10 34 13 6 4 12 2 52 19 [121]
2010–11 34 12 5 3 8 3 1 1 48 19 [36][122]
2011–12 34 7 5 2 14 2 53 11 [123]
2012–13 28 13 5 1 13 8 1 1 47 23 [124]
2013–14 27 12 4 7 11 5 2 0 44 24 [125][126][127][128]
Total 161 57 25 17 59 21 4 2 249 97
Overall Total 196 73 25 17 59 21 4 2 284 113

International goals[edit]

Scores and results table list Germany's goal tally first.[113]
# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 13 June 2010 Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban, South Africa  Australia
3–0
4–0
2010 World Cup
2. 27 June 2010 Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein, South Africa  England
3–1
4–1
2010 World Cup
3.
4–1
4. 3 July 2010 Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa  Argentina
1–0
4–0
2010 World Cup
5. 10 July 2010 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth, South Africa  Uruguay
1–0
3–2
2010 World Cup
6. 26 March 2011 Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern, Germany  Kazakhstan
2–0
4–0
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
7.
3–0
8. 7 October 2011 Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey  Turkey
2–0
3–1
UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying
9. 11 November 2011 Olympic Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine  Ukraine
3–3
3–3
Friendly
10. 15 November 2011 Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, Germany  Netherlands
1–0
3–0
Friendly
11. 6 February 2013 Stade de France, Paris, France  France
1–1
2–1
Friendly
12. 22 March 2013 Astana Arena, Astana, Kazakhstan  Kazakhstan
1–0
3–0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
13.
3–0
14. 14 August 2013 Fritz-Walter-Stadion, Kaiserslautern, Germany  Paraguay
2–2
3–3
Friendly
15. 6 September 2013 Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany  Austria
3–0
3–0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
16. 10 September 2013 Tórsvøllur, Torshavn, Faroe Islands  Faroe Islands
3–0
3–0
2014 FIFA World Cup qualification

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Bayern Munich[4]

International[edit]

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ "Thomas Müller Player Profile FC Bayern München AG". Fcbayern.telekom.de. Retrieved 16 April 2012. 
  3. ^ "Nationalspieler Thomas Müller" (in German). DFB. 17 January 2014. Retrieved 14 February 2014. 
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  42. ^ "Müller nutzt Nikolovs Patzer" [Müller takes advantage of Nikolov's blunder]. kicker (in German). 27 November 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  43. ^ "Gomez und Müller als kongeniales Duo" [Gomez and Müller – A Symbiotic Partnership]. kicker (in German). 19 December 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
  44. ^ "Rasse, Klasse und erneut Tore satt in Stuttgart" [Pace, class and more goals in a packed game in Stuttgart]. kicker (in German). 22 December 2010. Retrieved 29 July 2011. 
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External links[edit]