Thomas Müller recorded a cameo against ManUnited, the post standing in the way of crowning what was nevertheless a historic evening for him.
You can’t say that the evening when Bayern Munich got off to the wildest and highest-scoring start of the new Champions League season against Manchester United was a Thomas Müller evening.
The attacking player, who had just turned 34, came on against the Red Devils in the closing stages along with Mathys Tel. A co-production of the two jokers almost made Müller cheer, but the veteran put the ball against the post from close range.
Shortly afterwards, Tel scored the ultimately decisive fourth goal for Bayern in a powerful and elegant manner – and was subsequently the man who owned the headlines. “A role model for all young players,” said team-mate Sven Ulreich, praising the 18-year-old super-joker.
A role model for all young players, that could have been said about Thomas Müller in the spring of 2009, when the Bayern homegrown started his professional career under coach Jürgen Klinsmann and made his debut in the top flight in a 7-1 win over Sporting. Fourteen years later, Müller has 143 games (53 goals) in the competition – and because he has won one, he has joined the illustrious circle of just three professionals with 100 CL wins to their name.
So it was a Thomas Müller evening after all. “If you want to get a bit melancholy and historical, then this is already a crazy long time travel that I get to spend here in the Champions League,” he grinned good-humouredly in the mixed zone.
Ahead of him in this ranking are the already retired keeper Iker Casillas (101 wins) and, of course, Cristiano Ronaldo with 115 victories. It seems clear that he will overtake Casillas this season. Desert pro CR7, on the other hand, will not be able to overtake Müller in this CL season even in the best of all cases – theoretically twelve more victories would be possible. After the opening win against Man United, however, Müller let it be known that “we’re not finished yet – and neither am I. So today was just a through and through. So today was just a stopover”.
Where Müller’s journey to the top flight will ultimately end remains an exciting question. His contract with FC Bayern runs until June 2024, and talks on his future in Munich are due to begin in the autumn.