Thomas Muller: Player Profile

Muller Looking To End Germany's 18 Year World Cup Drought

Personal information
Full name: Thomas Muller
Date of birth: 13 September 1989
Age: 24
Place of birth: Weilheim in Oberbayern, West Germany 
Height: 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position: Forward / attacking midfielder

Club information
Current team: Bayern Munich
Number: 25

Youth career 
1993–2000 TSV Pähl
2000–2008 Bayern Munich 

Senior career 
2008–2009 Bayern Munich II 35 Appearances, 16 goals
2008– Bayern Munich 256 Appearances, 99 goals

National team 
2004–2005 Germany U16 6 Appearances, 0 goals
2007 Germany U19 3 Appearances, 0 goals
2008 Germany U20 1 Appearance, 1 goal
2009 Germany U21 6 Appearances, 1 goal

2010– Germany 53 Appearances, 21 goals

Four years after being mistaken for a ball-boy by Diego Maradona, Germany's Thomas Muller insists he would rather be a World Cup winner than claim another Golden Boot award.

Germany beat Algeria 2-0 in extra time in a Last 16 match on Monday but they will need more inspiration from their strikers if they are to have any chance of beating France next, who await them in the quarter-finals.

With nine World Cup goals in nine matches to his credit, the baby-faced 24-year-old has come far since Maradona's blunder in a 2010 press conference in Munich.

Muller had the last laugh a few months later with the opening goal as Germany destroyed Maradona-coached Argentina 4-0 in the World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa.

The Bayern Munich star finished the 2010 World Cup as the Golden Boot winner with five goals, plus three assists, and also picked up the best young player award.

Four years later, he is on course to retain the Golden Boot with four goals in Brazil leaving a no-longer ignorant Maradona to hail the form of 'El Flaco' - the Skinny One.

The attacking midfielder's tally includes the winning goal in the 1-0 victory over the United States, plus a hat-trick in the 4-0 rout of Portugal.

Muller is on par with Brazil's Neymar and Argentina's Lionel Messi who also have four goals each. He was poised to have a huge World Cup and praise heaped in from all corners following his devastating display against Portugal in Germany's World Cup opener.

Thomas could be the first back-to-back Golden Boot winner in World Cup history. Only Colombia’s James Rodriguez is ahead of the trio with five goals.

Despite his thunder-bolt of a shot against the Stars and Stripes, Muller would swap any personal awards for the chance to see Germany claim a fourth World Cup.

Thomas, with his slight build and happy-go-lucky demeanour, has potentially another two World Cup finals ahead of him. He could well eventually eclipse teammate Miroslav Klose and Brazil legend Ronaldo's joint record of 15 World Cup goals.

Muller may not be the most technical player. He may also not even impose himself on games like some other players do, but there are few who combine ruthless efficiency with the timing and instinct the way Muller does.

He is not an out-and-out forward; he's not a winger nor is he an attacking midfielder in the traditional sense. Muller is hard to define even by today's standards. But that's what makes him such a unique and dangerous player.

Germany’s manager Joachim Low has rotated a dozen attacking players in the last four years, but Muller has always been a constant. What Muller brings to the table is unique. Among the many brilliant, yet sometimes overly calculated and predictable attacking players, Muller offers an element of surprise, an attacking edge.

Some players have patterns of plays and runs that repeat themselves. Muller rarely makes the same run or move twice. Some players suffer dips in form that visibly affect their performances, slumps that completely remove them from matches. Muller can have a quiet 89 minutes but come up with a moment of brilliance that wins his team the game.

The comparison with his namesake and legendary goalscorer Gerd Muller is inevitable and appropriate. Both score goals in every way, with every and any body part and do so consistently at the biggest stage.

If the current German generation has been criticized for lacking a killer instinct or mentality to turn talent into trophies, that stands in stark contrast to Thomas Muller, who is never fazed by the occasion and relishes adversity. His personality also complements the rest of the team.

Muller serves as a constantly reliable outlet, a player that will take the pressure off others and one that can turn a poor pass, touch or cross into a goal.

Despite all the Gotzes, the Ozils and the Krooses, Thomas Muller may still be Germany's most important player and key if they are to end their 18-year trophy drought this summer in Brazil.