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Why Thomas Müller is the most underrated player of his generation


Throughout various lists mentioning the greatest forwards in the world, the likes of Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Sergio Aguero, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are always mentioned. Sure, Messi and Ronaldo play at a level above the rest, but the rest of these forwards are no better than Thomas Müller. In fact, Müller has scored 10 World Cup goals in just 13 matches, which is two more than Ronaldo and Messi combined. Obviously, Germany have a better team than Portugal and Argentina, but this comparison shows how good Müller truly is. In a generation of flashy, quick players like Neymar, Müller’s style of play is certainly different from the rest of the forwards in the highest caliber of the game.

Compared to speed demons like Gareth Bale and pure tricksters like Neymar, Thomas Müller often looks ungainly and his build is rather lanky. Overall, he may be the best player in the world in terms of finding and exploiting space, which has seen him consistently tally around 20 goals and 15 assists for Bayern Munich for the past four seasons. In fact, people in Germany have even named a position after him, “the raumdeuter”, which means space interpreter. The name makes sense because Müller’s biggest asset is his football IQ. Müller always provides a superb outlet for the ball and creates chances from either flank he plays on, which is usually the right side. Müller confuses defenses with his runs, which opens up the space for the players near him. Often times, he drifts out of the game, only to pop up in the right space, unnoticed, and either score or assist on a goal. His style does not seek attention from others, but definitely gets the job done.

While Müller has often played off of the right side, another one of his key assets is his versatility. When he first broke into the Bayern Munich first team in the 2009-2010 season, Müller operated in the No. 10 role behind Ivica Olic in Bayern’s 4-2-3-1 formation. He became a starter in his first season, beating competition from both Mario Gomez and Miroslav Klose to keep his place in the team. The very next season, Müller started getting deployed on the right side, where he played during the 2010 World Cup. In Bayern’s treble-winning season, Müller started the season on the right side, and his incredible form saw Arjen Robben sit on the bench. In the second half of the season, Toni Kroos sustained an injury. Müller shifted back into the No. 10 position, and was flanked by Robben and Franck Ribery – a trio which led Bayern to the treble. Over the past season, under Pep Guardiola, Müller has often played as the lone striker. He has often played as a sort of false nine, linking up plays together and finding space to score goals.

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All in all, Thomas Müller has achieved so much so far in his career. He recently turned 26, and has won every trophy possible at club level for Bayern Munich, as well as the World Cup. The European Championship is missing, but Germany are favorites for the 2016 title. He won the Golden Boot and the Best Young Player Award at the 2010 World Cup. He’s certainly a big-game player, as shown by his goal in a Champions League final. Even though he will never be recognized as the best player in the world, he would certainly make it into any starting XI in the world.

Thomas Müller may lack skill, but he makes up for that with heart, determination, passion, and intelligence. At the end of the day, Müller fulfills his job on the pitch. He may not have the most style, but he’s the best at what he does.

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  1. Kurono

    March 21, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Messi is out of this world and probably will become the best player of all time. But it’s easy to forget other players (and ever dissmis their abillities) for other overhyped players. It’s an injustice that Müller is rated below Eden Hazard, David Silva, Özil or Alexis Sanchez when is a powerfull and skilled all round striker (he can be used like a lone striker, a winger, attacking midfield, second striker), he had a lot of goal and assits.
    Purelly aesthetically talking, Muller is ugly, but very effective and usefull, has enourmous stamina and a lot of courage. Bascially is the second or third best player in the world right now (at the same level or sligthy better that Luis Suarez, a step down Messi)

  2. Afifah Nur AIni

    October 25, 2015 at 7:49 am

    Agreed with everything you said. I first knew Muller when he won the golden boot. It was impressive enough that he was able to score so many goals despite Germany didn’t win the 2010 WC, then I looked into his age and I was like, “Woah, wait.. The guy is only 20! Is this for real?!”. He created quite a sensation after his WC debut, but he remained the goofy, laid-back, country-man Thomas, away from scandal and women (btw, he’s married at 19 to his high school sweetheart). What’s not to love about him?

  3. Joe

    September 22, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    Sure , he’s so underrated united tried to buy him for 80 million and got shot down. Love an underdog story.

  4. wilfred wang

    September 22, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Great article! And what’s so likeable about Muller is his confident, intelligent, jovial and unassuming personality despite having achieved so much success at a relatively young age for a top footballer! His comments to the Press are usually spot on and shows that he is one of those thinking players who can handle journalists very well. Hope he stays fit and healthy and goes on to break more records for Bayern and Germany in the next few years, and hopefully, he gets nominated for FIFA’s Ballon d’ Or awards too soon. Mia San Mia!!!

    • Saad Rashid

      September 22, 2015 at 1:42 pm

      Agree, unlike many other stars, Muller does well to stay out of the spotlight. Doesn’t come across as arrogant, just acts like any other player. His professionalism is nice to see.

  5. marcos hernandez

    September 22, 2015 at 9:15 am

    Totally agreed with your article and on top of that thomas muller will become the all time wirld cup goalscorer ever if he stays healthy and germany qualified for the next world cup in russia as we expected they ll do great article

    • Saad Rashid

      September 22, 2015 at 1:43 pm

      As long as he stays fit, the World Cup record should easily be his. He’ll be 32 years old by the time the 2022 World Cup comes around, and for a forward who doesn’t really on pace as his main asset, he should definitely break the record.

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