At the age of 33 – that’s far from the end! Despite the World Cup disappointment, despite the physical ailments that have been felt more often than before in recent months, Thomas Müller (33) wants to continue his career in the German national team.
The offensive star of FC Bayern revealed this on Monday afternoon in the training camp in Doha, after he had previously exchanged views with national coach Hansi Flick and thought about it for a few weeks.
After the last World Cup group game against Costa Rica (4-2), when he left his DFB future open, he was “emotional”, explained Müller. But then he made the decision to continue. “As long as I’m a professional footballer, I’ll always be available in the national team if I’m needed,” he now clarified.
“The when, the if and the how – that must of course be decided by the national coach.” But he does not want to stop “artificially” in the national team, said Müller, whose Bayern contract runs until 2024.
As is well known, the home European Championship will take place in Germany in that summer of 2024, the tournament would be an appropriate DFB conclusion for Müller. “Why not?” said the attacker and grinned.
However, the prerequisite for this is, and Müller himself knows this very well, that he will play at the top level and be physically fit until spring 2024. In the end, he failed to do both. In October and November, Müller missed nine games at Bayern due to minor injuries and illnesses, so he traveled to the World Cup in poor shape.
Things didn’t go well for Müller as a central striker there, but the experienced player could also be in demand at Bayern in this role.
Coach Julian Nagelsmann plans with Müller “in one of the two positions up front, tenth or top”, as he explained at the weekend in Doha. “Basically, Thomas can play several positions, but the more central ones suit him the most. He’s very creative when it comes to staging players. It will be one of the positions.”
Or none. Because with center forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (33) and ten Jamal Musiala (19) there is now powerful competition. Cameroon’s World Cup participant Choupo-Moting has “done very well” this season, said Nagelsmann.
And youngster Musiala is also playing “an outstanding season. Jamal also played a very good World Cup with a very bad rate. Still, he was a remarkable player.”
At the same time, the coach appreciates Müller’s qualities enormously. “Thomas is an important player for Bayern, an important player for me,” stressed Nagelsmann. “He has extraordinary abilities, especially when it comes to assists, which also includes one or the other unconventional action in the opponent’s penalty area.”
One should therefore not make the mistake of writing off Müller. In Doha, the attacking star is highly motivated and physically strong. “We have a lot of games. We need every player in top condition, whether it’s Jamal, Choupo or Thomas,” said Nagelsmann.
If Müller “makes 17 assists again in the second half of the season, then we’ll all be happy. If he has ten assists and ten goals, we’re happy too. There won’t always be a fixed team, we’ll rotate. We need Thomas and we’re glad that he’s healthy again.” The original Bavarian seems to be ready for the last big attack.
This article was written by Maximilian Koch
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The original of this article “How Thomas Müller now has to fight for his role at Bayern” comes from the evening newspaper.