Bayern Munich News

13 years at Bayern Munich: Thomas Muller opens up about winning the Bundesliga, Lewandowski, and more

Thomas Müller
Foto: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Thomas Muller has lifted the lid on his 13-year journey at Bayern Munich, revealing what it’s been like winning the Bundesliga and the Champions League, playing alongside one of the best strikers in the world, Robert Lewandowski, and more.

Club vice-captain Muller has seen his fair share of ups and downs with Bayern, but he’s currently in the midst of one of his best seasons so far. The 31-year-old has scored 13 goals and assisted another 13 across competitions, and it doesn’t look like he’s slowing down any time soon.

In an exclusive interview with German magazine Kicker, Muller talked about the Bundesliga title race, expectations at Bayern, and his role as a leader in the team.

The season did not start out great for the defending European champions, who found themselves far off the top of the Bundesliga table in November-December 2020. But they have since bounced back, and are back where they belong with a lead of seven points.

“The ease from the preseason has evaporated a bit,” Muller admitted. “In November, December 2020, we had many close results with an unusually high number of goals conceded. And that the public and the whole league are then longing for this FC Bayern to finally be knocked off the throne, I can absolutely understand.”

Muller explained that Bayern’s dominance isn’t due to other teams lacking in quality, but rather a difference in approach that sets the leaders apart.

“We shouldn’t exaggerate the fact that only FC Bayern has winning types running around and not elsewhere. That’s far too clumsy,” said the nine-time Bundesliga champion. “It’s a special challenge, you’re constantly under observation, especially at FC Bayern, there’s always a magnifying glass on it.”

Awards and accolades are a driving force, Muller says

Muller has an incredible 27 trophies to his name, including two trebles and one World Cup with Germany. He added that awards and accolades are a result of a certain driving force that pushes players to do their best – a trait shared by the likes of Robert Lewandowski and Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Every single player has to show himself and the outside world that he can go this level. That’s what drives you: You want to have the feeling that you belong to the best and that you are better than everyone who took part in this competition,” Muller elucidated.

“You don’t care about this bowl, about this trophy. You don’t care about this piece of metal. Because as soon as it’s won, it’s all about who’s going to win it next year.”

He insisted that a hardworking mentality is what pushes players to perform and praised his teammates who have set an example for others.

“Players like Kimmich, Lewandowski, Neuer, to name a few, go home and not only think about how they can improve their own performance in the next game, but also think about what needs to be done to help the team – optimize performance,” Muller added.

“My role in the team is clearly defined. That also includes consciously setting an example that, with all the talent our squad has, it’s only possible through the commitment of each individual,” he said. “That’s certainly one of my strengths, that I can carry my teammates along and animate them.”

Muller can add another feather to his cap when Bayern travel for the Club World Cup in Qatar this month, where if they succeed, they will lift their sixth trophy in 12 months – a feat only previously achieved in Europe by Barcelona in 2009.