Thomas Muller joins the centurions club for Germany
A player who has seemingly been around forever- when was your first memory of seeing Thomas Muller take to the football pitch? An ageless player by all accounts, due to his emergence and key status within the teams he has played for since a young age the German stalwart has racked up an extremely impressive number of appearances for club and country. However, it was tonight that will live long in the memory for Muller and those associated with him. To reach 100 caps for your country is a huge achievement and for it to be done before the age of 30 makes this feat even more impressive. Although the result would not have been the one he would've wanted on the big occasion, I'm sure he felt an overwhelming sense of pride when he pulled on that strip for the 100th time.
Muller took to the field in the 66th minute tonight, in place of youngster Serge Gnabry. With Germany leading 2-0 it seemed like a perfect time to come on and express himself but the Netherlands staged a remarkable late fightback to level the game at 2-2 to continue their impressive run under Ronald Koeman. Despite the disappointment of this scoreline the international career of Thomas Muller has seen so much triumph rather than sorrow.
The all-action German made his international debut in a friendly match versus Argentina in March 2010. The scene was set as he took to the field in his home stadium the Allianz Arena- although he was to be on the losing side of a 1-0 scoreline. Only 20 years of age at the time, there were some who were reluctant to fastback this young man into the team saying he needed more experience at the under-21 level first. Many a young talent have been thrust into the limelight too soon and never fulfilled their potential as a result but this was not to be the case with such an exceptional talent and one of such strong mental fabric.
Before long, Muller had been named in a provisional 27-man squad for the 2010 World Cup and even made the final cut. It was to be the start of an incredible journey for Muller and the national side, one which would see some real highs and lows in years to come. What an impact he had at this tournament as well- he ended it as the joint top scorer with 5 goals and won the Golden Boot due to the 3 assists he was credited with in addition. Not just content with the one award, Muller was also awarded the Best Young Player Award for this tournament also. The world was now taking notice, but Thomas Muller was just getting started.
His record at big competitions for Germany and World Cups, in particular, was outstanding, he has set individual records and was a huge part in the Germans 2014 World Cup winning campaign. After winning the Golden Boot in 2010, Muller had to be content with following that up by winning the Silver Boot in 2014. He was however named in the FIFA World Cup Dream Team and by scoring 5 goals in this tournament it meant he became only the 3rd player after Teofilo Cubillas and Miroslav Klose to score 5 goals in more than one FIFA World Cup. He was named Man of The Match twice in the 2010 World Cup and twice in the 2014 World Cup also.
In total, Muller has featured in 5 major tournaments for Germany. The 2010 and 2014 World Cups being the particular highlights as the last two he has featured in have not been anywhere near as fruitful for him, failing to register a goal in either Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup. Whilst he has struggled somewhat for form in recent times, there is no doubting his application and commitment to the cause. Still regularly featuring in 40+ games a season at the highest level for Bayern Munich plus 11 appearances this calendar year for Germany just show his importance to the side whether he is banging goals in or not.
A truly unique individual with an unparalleled sense of positional play and intelligence on the field it may well be a long time before we see another player of Thomas Muller's ilk, but for now we can watch on with anticipation to see whether he can build on his legacy for both Bayern and the German National team. Danke, Thomas!