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Thomas Muller unofficially promoted to player-coach of Bayern Munich

Okay, maybe that headline is a bit of an exaggeration — but he’s pretty close.

FC Bayern München v Hertha BSC - Bundesliga Photo by Boris Streubel/Getty Images

Welcome to Bavarian Football Works. Today we will be bringing you your regularly scheduled dose of Thomas Muller propaganda. The Bayern Munich star is one of the most intelligent players in the game at the moment, having built a glittering career out of nothing but excellent positioning and savant-like spatial awareness. Most coaches love him, and the few that don’t ... well, they tend to get fired sooner rather than later.

For now, it seems that Julian Nagelsmann falls into that former category, which is good news for his career prospects. In a quote captured by TZ journalist Manuel Bonke, the 34-year-old coaching prodigy raves about the coaching prowess of his star player:

Julian #Nagelsmann raves about #FCBayern player-coach Thomas #Müller: “He can implement our instructions incredibly intelligently as an extended arm. He has the gift of coaching. In a very pleasant way: Not lecturing, but often with a good joke behind it.”

This isn’t the first time a coach has said this about Muller. It’s almost word-for-word what Hansi Flick said about him last year, back when the team was busy winning every trophy in sight. Nagelsmann clearly paid attention to those interviews, because he’s telling us what we want to hear.

For any player that thrives on their game-intelligence, this has to be the highest compliment you could ever receive. Muller has now been declared de-facto assistant coach by two consecutive Bayern Munich coaches now, both of whom are renowned for their tactical acumen. That a single player could hold this kind of esteem among his trainers speaks to his incredibly unique gift — a tremendous footballing brain that is possibly one of the greatest in the sport.

As an unashamed fanboy of Muller, I can’t wait to see him go into coaching one day. He’s played for some of the greatest minds in coaching throughout his career — guys like Louis van Gaal, Jupp Heynckes, Pep Guardiola, Hansi Flick, and now Julian Nagelsmann (legacy pending on that last one). Imagine Muller on the Bayern touchline, barking orders at the next generation of Bavarian stars. If Nagelsmann is to be believed, he might be very good at it.