After signing a contract extension that will keep him at Bayern Munich until 2023, Thomas Muller is set to finish off the better part of his career in Munich before he winds up going somewhere else, or retiring altogether. The Raumdeuter has been with Bayern since 2008 and has been a part of some of the best squads the club has ever seen en route to seven consecutive Bundesliga titles, a Champions League trophy, and four DFB-Pokals.
There have been a handful of “golden eras” at Bayern, and many will argue about which time period was the best overall for the club, but in a recent interview with SportBild (Bundesliga.com), Muller said he feels the golden era isn’t over yet. Continued success, he said, is what’s most important for this side, especially if they want to be remembered in Bayern’s history books:
For me, what’s crucial is that we end up being successful. People still talk a lot about the players of the 1970s not because of the many games they played, but because they were so extremely successful.
Many consider the early 2010’s to be one of the best generations in Bayern’s history when Muller was accompanied by players like Manuel Neuer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribery, and Arjen Robben, among other greats. They’re most fondly remembered for securing the historic treble in 2013 under Jupp Heynckes, but Muller feels that high point shouldn’t be associated with the end of a “golden era.” For him, there’s still more to come from the current Bayern side:
We were the only Bayern team to win the treble, we were in the Champions League final three times and of course, we also had this incredible run with seven championship titles in a row. For me, however, the following applies: this story should not be finished yet and in the end, titles won counts towards a legend’s status.
Personally, Muller is enjoying a fantastic 2019/2020 campaign under Hansi Flick. Niko Kovac’s successor has showed continued faith in Muller and it’s paid off for Bayern. The Raumdeuter has tallied 10 goals and 19 assist across all competitions from a total of 35 appearances. He’s a regular starter under Flick, which wasn’t the case in the beginning of the season when Kovac was still in charge, and he currently leads the Bundesliga in assists (16).
Muller said he has dreams of winning the Champions League again at 30 years of age. Bayern was flying in the competition before the coronavirus pandemic halted football, but he still wants to achieve the feat again before his career is done:
It would be nice if, after my career, people would say: man, this Müller. Even at the age of 30, he was able to win the Champions League again. That’s definitely my goal. After 2013, I want to hold up the big ears [Champions League trophy] in Munich again. You don’t just want to play and hope that one day it will come back to you, this trophy. In the past two or three years, things haven’t gone so smoothly for us. Now I think it’s time that we, as Bayern, should push it a little bit more. We want to actively attack the pot and the squad has had enough quality to win the Champions League again for a long time.
He also said that Bayern never wants the Bundesliga title to be a formality. The competition from rivals RB Leipzig, Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and everyone else is a welcomed challenge every season:
We want competition, we want opponents. Nobody should give us the title with a white flag waving, we look forward to the competition. The fact of the matter is, in the end, we want to have won it! It always sounds silly to us when we chase after a team ahead of us in the title race and they then say that they would actually be satisfied with third place.