He reminds you of a typical Sunday League player in appearance; his socks barely cover his shin guards let alone his legs however he is far from being a footballer watched by dog-walkers in a park.
Thomas Muller lit up the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil yesterday with the first hat-trick of the competition as his German side thrashed Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal to go top of Group G.
The five-goal Golden Boot winner from 2010 in South Africa continued from where he left off as he made it eight goals in seven World Cup appearances which to put that in context is more than Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Wayne Rooney combined.
It’s a phenomenal record for the 24-year-old who executed his false number nine position to perfection yesterday and alarmed the spectating world once more that the Germans are a force to be reckoned with.
His non-stop running and dropping off into deeper positions allows the likes of Mesut Ozil, Mario Gotze and Toni Kroos the space to use their creative minds and carve through defences with ten-man Portugal the unfortunate ones to suffer inside the Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador yesterday evening.
Muller doesn’t strike the naked eye as a potent threat in front of goal but his goal-scoring record and his ability to do it at the biggest occasions is unquestionable.
The Bayern Munich star scored over 25 goals last season for his club in a season which saw them retain the Bundesliga with Muller’s consistency proving a pivotal role in that success.
His international record continues to improve; he now has 20 goals in 50 matches for Joachim Low’s Germany as he bids to become the first player to win back-to-back Golden Boots at the World Cup.
He may not be the classical striker that you normally see but Muller is effective and he certainly earned the praise from 54-year-old Low, now into his eight year as German manager: “He has an instinct for creating dangerous situations for opponents and he scores in situations where you don’t expect it. On the pitch he is difficult for opponents to read, and he is certainly very unpredictable.”
Muller and his German team-mates take on Ghana and the USA in their last remaining group encounters and they go into them in a strong position and as favourites to qualify as group winners.
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