Thomas Müller sported a smart new haircut to go with the brand-new FCB kit on Saturday, but it’s doubtful whether he realised beforehand that his new hairstyle would be the main picture on Sunday’s back pages. Müller netted his maiden top flight hat-trick in the 3-1 win over VfL Bochum, to all intents and purposes wrapping up the league title for his club. He left the field to a standing ovation.
The 20-year-old is doing pretty much everything right at present – including his actions immediately after the final whistle, as he gave Jörg Butt a major helping hand in leading the south bank faithful’s celebratory chants. “Butti always has a few problems with the chanting, so I took over,” he explained with a grin. Müller, plucked from the third division reserves at the start of the season, has become an integral member of the Bayern team this term.
Nineteen goals, fourteen assists
His quality shone out yet again on Saturday, as he was rewarded for tireless running and astute movement. He chested home the opening goal after 18 minutes, headed the second two minutes later, and scored with his right foot 20 minutes from time. He could even have had a fourth, but hit the post ten minutes into the second half. Afterwards, he was asked if it was the best day of his career. “I think you could say that,” the FCB youth product reflected, “what’s happened today is sensational. Three goals too… it’s hard to put into words, I’m just delighted.”
Müller’s first season with the seniors has produced 19 goals (13 in the Bundesliga), and 14 assists (9 in the Bundesliga), meaning he leads the way for scorer points at Bayern this season. He has appeared in 49 of the club’s 50 matches, only missing a single game due to a Champions League suspension. Louis van Gaal has started with him 43 times.
The dream goes on
The player’s stellar ascent would not have happened without Van Gaal, but the Dutch boss was quick to pass on the compliments to his assistant Hermann Gerland: “He told me Müller was very talented.” Gerland was Müller’s head coach in the third division last term. “I never thought it would happen like this,” confessed Müller, “it’s fantastic and I’m thrilled. It’s a boy’s own yarn. I’m not sure I’ll make sense of it all for another two or three years.”
For now, the 20-year-old is focused on the future. “We can achieve more. The job now is to bring the next two trophies back to Munich,” he declared, looking forward to the DFB Cup and Champions League finals. “Lots of players work tirelessly for years just to win the league once. It’s happened to me in my first season. Unbelievable. A dream’s come true for me, but I want the dream to go on.”