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Thomas’s triumph

Best Young Player and Golden Boot for Müller

Thomas Müller’s stellar first full season in senior football has ended in individual glory at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Following Sunday’s final in Johannesburg, the 20-year-old Bayern starlet was named Best Young Player at the finals by the FIFA Technical Study Group (TSG), following in the footsteps of former FCB man Lukas Podolski, recipient of the award at the 2006 finals in Germany. And due to David Villa and Wesley Sneijder’s failure to add to their scorer points totals in the final, Müller has also carried off the adidas Golden Boot as top scorer in South Africa.

“it’s a huge honour to be part of a group including the likes of Pele, Franz Beckenbauer, Michael Owen and the most recent winner, Lukas Podolski. For me personally, it's terrific confirmation of the work I’ve put in over the last year,” commented Müller. “I’m delighted my great run has continued here, and I’ve really enjoyed it too. The honour will be with me for all time, and it's a wonderful memento too.”

Five goals, three assists

On Friday, the TSG nominated Müller, Mexico’s Giovannis dos Santos and André Ayew of Ghana for the award shortlist. “Thomas Muller’s rapid rise through the senior football ranks has been nothing short of remarkable. A fringe player with Bayern Munich just two seasons ago, and with a first international cap coming only in March of this year, the 20-year-old striker has captured the imagination of fans everywhere with his pulsating approach play and vital goals,” read the TSG citation.

The Bavarian-born forward ultimately edged out his rivals, partly thanks to his ruthless finishing in South Africa. His fifth goal came in the third-place play-off against Uruguay, after which he was named Man of the Match, an accolade he also received following Germany’s 4-1 victory over England. The goal against Uruguay ultimately saw Müller seal the prestigious Golden Boot ahead of Sneijder and Villa, who both finished on five goals but with only one assist apiece.

Star of the future

“This is just incredible for a newcomer to the World Cup. If anyone had told me I’d end on eight scorer points, I’d have said they were kidding me,“ a slightly incredulous Müller remarked. “It's an honour of course, but at the end of the day, I’d rather have had the World Cup itself,” he confessed.

“He’s a wonderful player,” enthused Gerd Müller when asked about his young namesake, who was coached by the Bayern legend during his spell in the FCB reserves. “The lad has everything. He’s quick, he shoots with both feet, he’s good in the air, and he makes terrific runs down the channels. He’s a quick thinker, he reads the game well, and he has that precious nose for goal,” Der Bomber told fcbayern.de.

More to come

Müller was not present in person to accept the Young Player accolade itself, plus the additional prize of a car, nor the Golden Boot. The awards ceremony took place immediately following the Final between the Netherlands and Spain at Soccer-City in Johannesburg, but Müller was already on board the return flight to Germany with the rest of the Germany squad.

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