Scoring the decisive goal on the big stage is nothing new for Thomas Müller, but his match-winning performance against Dortmund was about much more than just a place in the German Cup quarter finals.Thomas Müller has enjoyed several roles during his incredible career with the German record titleholders. From being hailed as the next big thing out of Bayern’s academy under Louis van Gaal to emerging as the title-winning ‘space invader’ thanks to the tutelage of Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola, Müller has always had a role to play.
After seeing his influence on Bayern’s fortunes wane with Carlo Ancelotti at the helm though, questions were asked of how the 28-year-old would respond to facing adversity for the first time in his career and which role he would fill moving forward.
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His performances since Heynckes’ return, capped off by Wednesday night’s match-winning outing against Dortmund, have served as a resounding response to any doubters. Müller has been involved in 12 goals in the 13 games with Jupp back in charge. Put simply: he’s back to his old self.
Bayern ran rampant over Dortmund in the first half of their German Cup round of 16 tie and Müller’s movement on and off the ball played to all of his strengths as the hosts toyed with opposition before the break.
The Weilheim native’s goal was the epitome of everything that made football fans around the world fall in love with Bayern’s slightly awkward, joker in the pack – a slick combination, a darting run into space, a neat first touch and a cheeky chipped finish.
The Bundesliga table-toppers arguably should have led by more at the break, but for Müller that 45 minutes alone seemed to banish memories of his dip in form during the Carlo Ancelotti era. What further proof could he provide that he is well and truly back to old form?
Next year could be a decisive one in Müller’s career. Bayern are still competing on three fronts, while Germany have their sights set on retaining their World Cup title in Russia this summer.
He was no stranger to positive experiences, but having come through the hardest period of his career to date, Müller looks to be better for the experience. His role for club and country will no longer be in question if he can maintain this momentum after the winter break. Thomas Müller is and will always be a match-winner.