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Prior to Hansi Flick’s appointment, Thomas Müller doubted future at Bayern Munich

Despite his trademark resiliency, Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller admitted was worn down by being passed over and was considering a move away from the club.

FC Bayern Muenchen Extends Contract With Thomas Mueller Until 2023 Photo by M. Donato/FC Bayern via Getty Images

Confirming what many speculated, Thomas Müller’s experience over the previous three seasons left his future with Bayern Munich in doubt during a tumultuous fall season.

In a virtual interview with the press (our quotes from SportBild), Müller seriously considered moving on from Der Rekordmeister as he languished in a supporting role under Niko Kovac, while the former coach jammed Philippe Coutinho into the starting role at the “10” whenever possible. Müller, of course, also had to prove his doubters wrong after Carlo Ancelotti’s dismissal.

With the exception of Jupp Heynckes’ brief comeback tour, Muller endured two coaches — and almost three seasons — of being pushed out of his position and far too much bench time for less productive players.

Clearly, that mental grind took its toll on 2014 World Cup winner:

Emotions in the fall were pretty tense. I was not thinking that I’d definitely extend my contract in the spring. There was this phase in the fall, where I wasn’t in the starting lineup for six games, despite English weeks. That was a difficult phase for me. I thought to myself: Where do I stand? What does my contractual situation look like? What do I want to achieve in the next few years? What claims to playing time can I make? Do I carae about being at a good club and playing along or about standing on the pitch and being able to make an impact there?

Muller delved deeper into his thought process and explained why he felt slighted:

If we had continued to be successful in the fall and my role hadn’t changed, FC Bayern could have been able to live with entertaining the idea of giving me up.

Of course, Muller’s standing on the squad took a turn for the better under Flick.

The coaching team has built a structure that makes us successful. That makes the players feel good on the pitch, we are succeeding with that. If we see that things this coaching team and configuration will continue, then we believe that our success will also continue.

With the contract discussion out of the way, Müller turned his focus to the squad’s sensational run of play prior to the pandemic-induced break:

I see our team in a very good place compared internationally. There is no one super-team. I see our squad — with the feeling of the last weeks before the break — among the very top.

But the weeks without playing are wearing on him. “As soon as the ball is gone, football is sad,” he added.

We have been doing dry exercises for three weeks, everything is in flux and you wonder when things will start again. We all want to play football again — of course only in conditions that make doing so sensible.

Muller also joked about how he now has time to work more on his abs before talking about what playing a “ghost game” might look like:

I have seldom had such well-trained stomach muscles like now.

And as for ghost games,

(It will be) like the final training before a Champions League game, but 90 minutes without feedback, that’s going to be strange.

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