Exchange of jerseys after a game has been an age old tradition in football. However, rarely do you see a player being requested for his shirt by a coach of the opposition team.
Just last month, Dynamo Kiev manager Mircea Lucescu asked FC Barcelona legend Lionel Messi for his jersey. This time, Thomas Müller received the same respect from a top coach in the Bundesliga.
A legend of the game, his club and his nation, very much like Messi, Müller was confronted with a shirt request from VFL Wolfsburg coach Oliver Glasner. The Bavarians’ vice-captain, who was deployed in a comparatively defensive role rather than in his usual spot, played the full 90 minutes in his side’s hard fought 2-1 victory at home.
Glasner, who took over in 2019, has overseen Die Wolfe’s noticeable transformation since last season. Up until they suffered their first loss at the hands of Bayern, Wolfsburg were on a club-record 10-game unbeaten run in the league.
Fulltime | Valiant effort from the boys on the road but we fall by one goal to the defending champions.— VfL Wolfsburg US (@VfLWolfsburg_US) December 16, 2020
Wolves suffer their first @Bundesliga_EN defeat of the season. #FCBWOB | #VfLWolfsburg | 2⃣-1⃣ pic.twitter.com/3H3PpZV4hf
After the match, the 46-year-old was captured approaching Müller and surprised many with his special shirt request.
When asked by the media in the post-match conference if it was for someone from his family or he was simply a fan of Der Raumdeuter, Glasner replied, “Christmas is coming, but it’s not for my family.”
The Austrian coach later explained the reason behind the polite and respectable gesture.
“I come from near Munich, there are a few who usually sit in the Allianz Arena,” said Glasner. “I had one or two requests.”
The former SV Ried manager remained tight-lipped and didn’t reveal the person for whom the shirt was intended for, but mentioned that he is planning to present it as a Christmas gift to “someone.”
“You don’t know yet,” a coy Glasner replied. “But someone will receive a Thomas Müller shirt as a Christmas present.”
After giving reigning champions a run for their money, Wolfsburg now sit fifth in the Bundesliga table, three points clear of Union Berlin and just a point behind giants Borussia Dortmund.