A simple question with a complex answer: What does Thomas Müller play? Yes, right now, he does it as a playmaker, but is that his traditional position? The Transfermarkt portal has analyzed 525 of the 533 games that the German footballer has played with Bayern. Of them, 196 have played them as a playmaker, 190 as a right winger, 64 as a midfielder or inside, 46 as a center forward and 29 as a left winger. In other words, Müller plays from the center of the field to the front, but does not have a favorite position.

Another similar question: Is he a scorer or an assistant? If you look at the data for this season, there is no doubt. In fact, his 21 assists - in front of eight goals - in the Bundesliga make him the major league footballer who has distributed the most goal passes this season, tied with Leo Messi and beating Kevin de Bruyne in one assist . Throughout his career, however, he has signed three seasons with more goals than assists - with a record of 20 goals in 2015/16 - and one more in which both records are even.

Entering the field of subjectivity, it could be added that Müller is not a particularly gifted footballer in any of the classic attributes of football. He is not particularly tall (1.85 meters), nor very fast, nor very strong, nor does he stand out for having a refined technique, nor a lethal shot ... In short, he is a footballer who does not know very well what he plays, straddling a scorer and a passer, and that does not stand out in anything. Well, he does stand out in something concrete, completely intangible: in his intuition to interpret the game, in his ability to smell rival blood. And also in its ability to reinvent itself.

Due to all these characteristics, and also because of its physical appearance, it stands as the current benchmark of a line with a long tradition in continental football, that of the ungainly. Like Müller, men like Raúl , Inzaghi and Van Nistelrooy were lethal without looking like one. They simply had the ability to be at the right time in the right place to be decisive. His football was not necessarily beautiful, but it was almost always decisive.

11 years as a reference

Müller's great merit is that he has been a benchmark for Bayern, one of the most demanding clubs in Europe, for 11 years, since he was 19, which today seeks the Champions League final against the surprising Olympique Lyonnais. In none of these seasons has he played fewer than 28 games, a sign of improper regularity in professional football, which has also made him a key player in the German team of the last decade.

The convert comes on account of the fact that Müller, like Boateng and Hummels, was sacrificed by Löw in March 2019 to open a new stage in the German team. It was a complicated year for him, because with Niko Kovac his prominence at Bayern was greatly reduced, frequenting the bench more than the starting lineups. But after the arrival of Hansi Flick to the Bavarian bench, in November, everything changed, recovering the best version of Müller, decisive from the midfielder, undetectable for many defenders, as Barcelona could prove a few days ago, as ungainly as he is lethal.

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