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Thomas Müller

Thomas Müller

Thomas 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.

Müller describes his role as a Raumdeuter, a term that translates to “interpreter of space”. A consistent scorer and creator of goals, he describes himself as a player who can find gaps in the opposition defence but not particularly good at dribbling or one-on-ones. He has been praised for his maturity, pace, technique, awareness and positioning. He has been particularly noted for his composure, with Germany manager Joachim Löw commenting that he is “impervious to pressure”.

Müller’s role is best described as an attacking all-rounder, a player able to play in a variety of forward positions. While playing in the youth system, he played primarily as a midfielder, but since breaking into the first-team he has been used in more forward roles. The German 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 on the right for Germany. He has also been used as an out-and-out striker on occasion.

Müller was named in Germany’s provisional 27-man squad for the 2010 World Cup. He made the final cut for the tournament when the squad was reduced to 23 players and was allocated the number 13, normally worn by injured captain Michael Ballack, and previously worn by his namesake Gerd Müller.

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, winning Germany’s goal of the month award in the process. 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. In the third minute of Germany’s 4–0 quarter final win against Argentina, he opened the scoring with his fourth tournament goal. However, he picked up his second booking of the tournament in the first half, for a handball and was suspended for the semi-final defeat against Spain. 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 medal.

With five goals Müller ended as joint top goalscorer of the tournament. He earned the Golden Boot with these goals and his three assists. He also won the Best Young Player Award. He was also named on the shortlist for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award that year. Reflecting on his World Cup success, Müller said “I basically got lucky, I hit form at just the right time”.

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