Berlin (AFP) – Thomas Mueller put a bizarre new spin on an old trick by pretending his passport was a mobile phone to avoid questions when Bayern Munich returned from their winter training camp.

Bundesliga leaders Bayern arrived back into Munich on Wednesday after their eight-day camp in Doha with the German league to resume after the winter break on January 20.

Prankster Mueller came up with a whacky version of the standard trick — talking into a mobile phone — footballers use to avoid questions from waiting reporters.

The 27-year-old Germany star strolled through the arrivals lounge at Munich airport with the Bayern squad, busily chatting into his passport, with a big grin on his face.

Mueller is well-known for his eccentric sense of humour.

He famously answered “you can smear that crap shoe behind your ears” in a thick Bavarian dialect when a bemused reporter asked in English if he was disappointed to miss out on the Golden Boot, the top-scorer trophy, when Germany won the 2014 World Cup.

And he once barked off-camera when Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said Mueller “is as cold as a dog’s nose in front of goal” during a post-match interview.