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'Thomas has matured'

Müller: This is my home

Thomas Müller is a fans’ favourite, a performer, and a Bavarian through and through. In short, the perfect man for FC Bayern. On Wednesday the 24-year-old agreed to extend his contract until 2019. Great news ahead of the World Cup. “This is my home. This is my club,” declared the Germany international, “I want to win a lot of titles for the club that’s so special to me. I’m very happy.”

The new contract with FCB will give Müller additional motivation as he embarks on his second World Cup finals campaign. However, the striker will find Brazil quite different from his spectacular World Cup debut four years ago. “I felt like I was in a capsule in 2010. I was thrown into the thick of it and I didn’t really know what was happening to me,” recalls the surprise top goalscorer in South Africa: “I can appreciate the run-up to the World Cup much more now.”

Müller goes into the tournament in South America as a title holder. With five goals and three assists the then 20-year-old sensationally won the Golden Boot in South Africa - the third German player to do so after Gerd Müller (1970 in Mexico / 10 goals) and Miroslav Klose (2006 in Germany / 5 goals). He made his full international debut just three months before the start of the tournament.

'Thomas has trained brilliantly'

He does not see the comparison with 2010 as a burden or liability. It serves more as an additional incentive. “I know it’s not very likely I will end up as top scorer again. Nobody has managed that so far. But I’m not going to say I won’t try.” Typical Müller. The crowd-pleaser, who always has a good response at hand, always looks to achieve the maximum possible.

“He always wants to win even though he loves to have fun,” said Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff in Santo André. “I’ve always wanted to achieve the best possible results,” confirmed Thomas. As an example, he told the story at the training camp in the South Tyrol of a tennis tournament in his hometown where he competed with the men as a twelve-year-old lad: “I wanted to win that too - and fortunately I managed to do it.”

Löw also sees the forward as a key element in his World Cup squad. “Thomas has been outstanding in training and in games,” raved the Germany coach during the run-in to the World Cup finals. It does not matter whether he is on the right or in the centre. “He’s a leader on the pitch. You can rely on him. He’s played a key role in lots of internationals,” said Löw’s number two Hansi Flick in Campo Bahia. And the assistant coach added: “Thomas has matured.” He is now about to earn cap number 50 for his country.