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Germany players unsure how to successfully work with fan requests amid pandemic

It is not figuring out how to keep fans happy, while being safe during this pandemic.

FC Bayern München v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images

When it comes to fan interaction, few players are better than Bayern Munich’s Thomas Müller.

These pandemic days, however, leave players like Müller unable to do everything with fans that they used to do in the pre COVID-19 era.

“On the subject of autographs, I have to say that I tend to hold back there. I tell the fans that a photo at a distance of two meters is okay, but I don’t like to sign. I don’t know exactly how I should behave in the best possible way. We have a lot of constraints. It’s difficult for everyone involved to find a clear line,” said Müller as captured by SPOX. “When we say “fire at will,” there are also doubters as to whether that’s the right thing to do at this time. On the other hand, we don’t want to say that we have an absolute ban on fan contact.”

Müller acknowledged that the rise of social media often put players in an awkward position.

“Social media is a double-edged sword. We players are much closer to the outside world than we used to be. When I was a fan, there might have been a home story once in a while; today, players share pictures of drinking coffee. Today, part of it is certainly marketing strategy. But you also do question-and-answer games on YouTube, for example. I think we’re much closer to the fans today than we were 20 years ago,” Müller said. “We want to inspire the fans with our game.”

Gladbach’s Jonas Hofmann felt similar to Müller.

“We’re just getting so euphoric about everything again, many think Corona is already over. But you have to remember that even vaccinated people can get infected,” Hofmann said. “There are still certain rules. We would do well to stick to them. I think it’s important for everyone to be understanding until things are lifted. Of course, every player would like to fulfill selfie requests, but it’s just that the rules still apply.”