I was recently telling my Dad that Thomas Müller had signed an extension to his current Bayern deal which would see him remain at the club till 2019. My dad then asked me "Is Müller that good?"
I told him that Müller's value is best understood when he is not on the pitch. Because when the Raumdeuter is in form, his team usually wins. Take today for example, in Germany's 4-0 rout of Portugal. He struck three times; all three goals were typical Müller strikes. The fact that Joachim Löw trusts him with penalties despite the presence of Mesut Özil in the side speaks volumes about him. His strike was no Panenka but it was a clean and assured one.
His second strike was a flash of brilliance. Toni Kroos plays unbelievably good passes from time to time into the box; this was not one of them. Müller read the ball perfectly. When the rebound off Bruno Alves came to him, he just struck it. The ball was in the net within seconds. Had Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo scored that, they would have been hailed as superb ball strikers; they would also been hailed for their presence of minds. When Kroos hit that pass, I was disappointed; I could not believe my eyes when the ball hit the back of the net.
The third goal was a reward for his unselfishness perhaps. Müller had the chance to strike from the right wing for a third but he passed to his captain instead. Philipp Lahm's fluffed shot however did not find the back of the net. Andre Schürrle instead collected the ball and made his way to the byline. His pass to Müller was perfect. The Raumdeuter found the tiniest hint of space between the keeper and his lanky form to squeeze the ball into the back of the net.
The hat-trick was not flashy; it was not the prettiest either. The hat-trick though was all about finding space. And the Raumdeuter did this to perfection each time.