Many of the world’s discussions are currently taking place in video conferences, and since Thomas Müller and even FC Bayern are also part of the world, this now also applies to press conferences. Müller is physically present on Säbener Straße, speaks on screens and has a lot of fun doing it. “It’s like when you want to watch the Bundesliga in the team bus,” says Müller amused when a video transmission stops again. When the press spokesman said that you should only ask one question as a reporter because it would otherwise take too long, Müller looks at him with irritation and says: “Why? We have time.”
For more than 50 minutes, Müller speaks a lot on Maundy Thursday. For example, on the occasion of the expected ghost games, he philosophized longer about the concept of “home advantage” and whether it was perhaps not more important than it is today (“Hermann Gerland always says that when he was at Betzenberg, the referees were happy when they did came down safely, then offside or non-offside for home or visiting team suddenly had a span of two meters “). When asked about Oliver Kahn’s work on the board, Müller goes on to explain things until he closes his speech with the words: “Now I basically said for two minutes that I can’t answer the question.”
Müller, who normally prefers to talk more than less, is obviously underutilized in times of lockdown. Before that, he started reporting on Instagram and in podcasts about the life of a football player in a waiting state and now he has an official occasion to do so. He has just extended his contract until 2023, shortly before that FC Bayern had announced that Hansi Flick would stay that long.
You can always tell Müller how he really is, and he is currently in an ambivalent situation. On the one hand, he is obviously very happy with how FC Bayern are positioned in terms of sport. It’s no secret that he likes the trainer Hansi Flick and that the trainer Hansi Flick Thomas Müller likes it, and that both of them are planning to spend three years together in Munich in writing, which gives him a very positive mood.
That was different recently. In autumn, when Flick’s predecessor Niko Kovac left him six games outside, he brought his own farewell into the game, and people were already wondering how he wanted to do it. With the horse farm, the dogs and the rabbits, say, move to London, where they do not play sheep head, do not speak Bavarian and presumably do not understand its routes? Somehow it doesn’t fit, and since he doesn’t have to worry about it himself, you can understand that he’s in a good mood.
“Basically, of course, we want to play football. But only from a point of view that makes sense.”
On the other hand, he is well aware of the seriousness of the situation for football and for the country. “You’re in limbo,” he says with a concentrated expression on his face. “Basically, of course, we want to play football. But only from a point of view that makes sense.” Of course, one always has to critically question decisions, but on the other hand, trust the decision-makers and act as a unit.
The goal must be to play games “and still take into account criteria such as safety, health and role models”. It is an exceptional situation in which there is no experience. “Football is only a small part of the whole,” says Müller. The corona pandemic is “a much higher topic than that a few clubs now say we want to play, then we will organize something again”. There must first be a sign from politics.
The organization at Bayern works well. He says that he has never had such good abdominal muscles during home training and that once a ball artist joined the video conference, at home they “attacked my vases with some circus tricks”. FC Bayern has been training in small groups on Säbener Straße again since this Monday. Müller says he is happy to have “a piece of grass cut under his feet”. But of course it is difficult at the moment because there is no concrete goal to work towards.
Sport is currently only taking place in the subjunctive, which is why Müller talks about other things. For example, about Miroslav Klose, who could become Hansi Flick’s new assistant coach and who played with Müller for a long time in the national team. He was very clever as a player and someone who had read the game. “These are qualities that naturally help you as a trainer.”
Loyalty to clubs is also an issue. In the Bundesliga, only Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund) and Michael Parensen (Union Berlin) played longer for a club than him. He will probably be the frontrunner in 2023. “Players, coaches and clubs go in the same direction,” says Müller about his contract extension. In the course of these 50 minutes, he indicates that he considers the overall situation at FC Bayern to be rather good. Now you just have to play again sometime.