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Müller on the fence about a European Super League

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Thomas Müller says he can see the attractiveness of Bayern Munich’s potential participation in a European Super League.

FC Bayern Muenchen New Car Handover Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images For AUDI

Michael Jordan won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls and is known as the best basketball player ever. Bayern Munich has matched that total in this decade alone; and not only have they won six Bundesliga titles, they have also won them consecutively—which Thomas Muller believes is not Bayern’s problem.

Some German football critics disagree and recently have claimed that the Bundesliga is non-competitive. One solution that has been touted for this problem is a hypothetical European “super league,” which would extract Europe’s largest and most successful football clubs from their respective domestic leagues to create a giant-against-giant war.

FC Bayern midfielder Thomas Müller stands in no man’s land regarding this disagreement between football lovers. Müller denied outright that Bayern Munich itself should make it a priority to “provide for more excitement” in the Bundesliga in an interview with GQ Magazine (via TZ).

We, the players of Bayern Munich, are not responsible for that—to provide for excitement—but rather to win our games. It would be a hypocritical discussion, if Bayern Munich supposedly wanted more excitement.

But Müller also described his mixed feelings about the alternative of a European super league that would separate Bayern from the Bundesliga altogether:

I'm of two minds there, because I'm also somehow also a traditionalist. I grew up with the Bundesliga and, on the one hand, I’d think it’d be terrible, if the Bundesliga no longer existed in this form! And Bayern Munich didn’t play there as Germany’s best club.

On the other hand, though, this league [i.e., a super league] with the best teams in Europe would definitely be extremely spectacular—not least for the spectators. There'd be a top game every week—and, with respect to its attractiveness, it'd be extremely interesting.

Real Madrid v Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Semi Final Second Leg Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Müller is a Bavarian himself. Born in Oberbayern just 30 miles from Munich, he joined the club when the he was 10-years-old. Since his promotion to the senior team, Bayern Munich have won seven league titles, four German Cups and four German Super Cups. The midfielder’s value of tradition cannot simply be disregarded.

Super League Background

Of course, one may feel dumbfounded at the prospect of a super league as a solution to domestic dominance, since the UEFA Champions League is already in place. However, this theoretical super league would not be a cup or tournament like the Champions League. Rather, it would supersede all European competition. The super league would be a conventional August-to-May, round-robin league for the top clubs representing the five best leagues.

The idea surfaced in 2014 and has been heavily supported by American investor, Stephen Ross, who successfully created the International Champions Cup, a summer friendly series that hosts the world’s best football clubs face each other on American soil and abroad. A recent European court ruling may even have opened the door for the top clubs to challenge UEFA’s monopoly on competition—although none have done so yet.

Hot takes

Although Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge backed off the idea of a European super league after UEFA revised the format of the champions league, he is far from the only prominent figure in European soccer to speak out about the potential for a European league that supersedes domestic competition.

Juventus center back, Giorgio Chiellini, told El Mundo in April that the potential league is ‘inevitable’.

In Europe, [football will move] towards the European Super League. It will take 10, 20 or 30 years, but it will arrive.

Former Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, used the same word in a BBC interview last month, claiming the profit would be the main factor in its establishment.

In a few years you will certainly have a European league over the weekends. It is inevitable. Why? First of all, to share money between the big clubs and small clubs will become a problem.

The big clubs will say: ‘if two smaller clubs are playing each other nobody wants to watch it. People want to watch quality. So we have to share the money but nobody is interested in you.’

The revised format, which allots even greater money for the elite clubs with a track-record of Champions League success, is UEFA’s attempt to forestall precisely these complaints about the distribution of funds to the weaker teams in the competition.

Fans of Bayern

Back to FCB, in the six consecutive years that they’ve won the Bundesliga, Die Roten have completed the German treble once and the double twice. Overall, Bayern Munich have won 27 league titles in the modern era.

Since their treble season in 2012-2013, Bayern have won 159 matches, earning 502 points in that span with a goal differential of +398.

To fans, that dominance is no reason to push for a super league—so much that fans have protested against a European super league during Bayern matches. For years, diehard Bayern fans have insisted on keeping the Bundesliga stable and keeping their beloved club in it.

Weather in this decade or the next, Bayern supporters have much to ponder regarding their club’s future. There could be a possibility that domestic derby’s with FC Augsburg and VFB Stuttgart become TV re-runs instead of what’s televised a Bayern supporters bar or pub. But at least Thomas Müller (or most of him) would rather keep Bayern competing with its neighbors in Bavaria.


Poll

Should Bayern Munich support a European Super League?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Yes, bring on the competition!
    (86 votes)
  • 46%
    No, keep German football intact.
    (100 votes)
  • 12%
    Bayern shouldn’t but they will.
    (27 votes)
213 votes total Vote Now