Hansi Flick has made the decision to not involve Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller in the German national team squad for the two upcoming international breaks. One of the breaks is later this month while the other is slated for June. They are set to play a pair of friendlies this time around (this month); first against Peru, and then Belgium. Of course, unlike most other European nations, they won’t be involved in the qualifying process for Euro 2024 since they are the host nation and will instead also have a pair of friendlies come June.
Few players from Die Mannschaft were able to leave the World Cup in Qatar with any bit of credit for overall positive performances, but Muller had also been recovering from a hip problem prior to club play breaking for the World Cup to take place through November in December. It seemed to have taken him a while to get back into the groove for Bayern when the Bundesliga resumed, but he has put forth some strong performances in recent weeks across all three fronts for the Rekordmeister.
In a recent interview with Suddeutchse Zeitung (via @iMiaSanMia), Flick explained that he’s already spoken with Muller about his decision to not call him up for the next two camps. For him, it’s more about Bayern’s number 25 just not being picked due to other players being picked to be involved rather that it being a highlighted point to just exclude Muller. You can only have a certain number of players in the rosters and Flick has a lot of things to figure out ahead of next summer’s European championships. “I discussed with Thomas that he will not be called up to the games in March and June. But that doesn’t mean that his DFB career is over or that he won’t play a role at the Euros,” he explained.
This, of course, wouldn’t be the first time that Muller was temporarily dropped from the national team and then returned for a major tournament as the same thing happened with Joachim Low back in March of 2019 when he told Muller, Mats Hummels, and Jerome Boateng they were no longer apart of his plans. Fast forward to the Euros that took place in 2021, and Muller was on the roster and played in every single match, granted there was the one-year buffer due to the coronavirus pandemic postponing the tournament by as long.
“He sees things the way I do: As a national team player, you don’t retire. You either get a call-up or you don’t, and he’s now on hold until the summer,” Flick reassured, as Muller is a consummate professional for both club and country. He knows that he’s an aging player and there’s a lot Flick needs to look at before next summer’s tournament, and that might mean giving other players a shot in the area of the pitch that he usually operates in.
Lastly, Flick absolutely refused to shut the door for a potential return to the national team in the future for Muller, knowing just how much quality the Raumdeuter possesses. “Why would I shut the door on a player like that forever? Look at his current importance for Bayern. He’s totally important again and I’m very happy for him,” Flick rationalized.