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1. FC Köln

Thomas Müller: Mr. Bayern Munich reaches one more milestone

Thomas Müller is continuing to revel in his status as a one-club man. Having lifted his record-extending 12th Bundesliga title at the end of 2022/23, Mr. Bayern brought up an incredible 500th win in what was his 690th competitive game for the Bavarian giants against Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 20 of 2023/24. bundesliga.com charts his journey from promising local boy to bona fide club legend...

There is more to being Müller than being Bavarian, of course, but it definitely helps - that much is obvious when he does the rounds of the FCB supporters' clubs in the run-up to Christmas. Born in Weilheim, young Thomas grew up in the small village of Pähl, around 30 miles southwest of Munich. He joined Bayern as a 10-year-old in the summer of 2000, and quickly set about climbing through the club ranks. He enjoyed a breakout season with the U19s in 2007/08, hitting 18 goals in 26 games - and catching the eye of then head coach Jürgen Klinsmann .

"I didn't pick up the phone at first," Müller admitted, when the 1990 FIFA World Cup winner called to announce his promotion to the first team squad. "But when I listened to my voicemail later, it was Jürgen Klinsmann."

Müller made his Bundesliga debut a month before his 19th birthday, coming on as a late substitute for Miroslav Klose against Hamburg on the opening day in 2008/09. Now he is footballing royalty, but back then nothing hinted at the remarkable career path that lay in store.

Watch: Müller's extraordinary journey from Pähl to the pinnacle of world football...

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Impressing Van Gaal

After that fleeting cameo against HSV, Müller spent most of the remainder of the season with the reserves – netting an impressive 15 goals in the third tier. He was recalled to the first team in the latter stages of the campaign, making another three substitute appearances, but it was only in 2009/10 that he really began to make a name for himself.

Klinsmann left Bayern and was replaced by Louis van Gaal, who instantly recognised Müller's immense potential. Incredibly - for someone with just 28 minutes of top-flight football under his belt - Müller featured in every single game of the season. He repaid Van Gaal's faith with 13 goals and 10 assists as Bayern completed a Bundesliga and DFB Cup double.

"Even if Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben are available, Müller will always play in my team," Van Gaal famously said at the time. To this day, Müller credits the Dutch tactician with playing a crucial role in his development.

"He threw me in at the deep end," the Bayern forward explained to Goal in 2016. "I made my debut before he arrived, but he then relied on me continually. For us players, it's difficult to talk about coaches while we're still active. But I would say that my biggest influence was Louis van Gaal, because I was at the best age to be influenced."

60 Years of Bundesliga

Voted Germany's Young Player of the Year and included in the Bundesliga Team of the Season, Müller was ready to take his newfound status global. He made just his third appearance for the German national team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup opener against Australia, scoring his first international goal and laying on another for Lukas Podolski in a 4-0 win.

Two more goals and an assist came in the last-16 dismissal of England, followed by the opener in the quarter-final thrashing of Argentina. Agonisingly, Müller missed the semi-final defeat against Spain due to suspension, but he returned to score his fifth goal of the tournament as Germany pipped Uruguay to third place. At just 20 years of age, Müller flew home from South Africa with the Golden Boot and a growing reputation as one of world football's new wunderkinds on the block.

Champions League heartbreak and heroics

After extending his contract with Bayern through to 2015, Müller continued to flourish, notching up 21 goals and 28 assists over the next two seasons. But success began to prove elusive for the record champions. Not only did they fail to lift the Bundesliga crown in that period - with Borussia Dortmund claiming back-to-back titles under Jürgen Klopp - they also struggled to establish their supremacy on the continent.

In May 2012, the stage was perfectly set. Bayern welcomed Chelsea to the Allianz Arena for the UEFA Champions League final, looking to make up for a 2-0 defeat to Inter Milan in the 2010 showpiece. In the 83rd minute, Müller broke the deadlock with a close-range header, a goal which looked sure to secure Bayern their fifth European crown - and scored by a Bavarian, no less. But it was not to be - Didier Drogba equalised minutes later, and the English side eventually triumphed on penalties.

Many observers described the defeat as worse than the 1999 Champions League final, when Manchester United scored twice in injury time to snatch the trophy away from Bayern. But from the ashes of their agonising loss on home soil, Jupp Heynckes' side rose like a phoenix to enjoy what was then the most successful campaign of any side in German footballing history in 2012/13. It culminated in a historic treble of Bundesliga, DFB Cup and that long-awaited Champions League.

"We have to win," Müller warned ahead of the first all-German final against Dortmund at Wembley. "If you lose three finals in four seasons you are going to be labelled chokers. We could win a lot in London - but we could lose a lot, too."

Luckily for Bayern, win they did. While it was Robben who had the honour of netting the decisive goal at Wembley, Müller finished the European campaign as Bayern's top scorer with eight goals - including three in the 7-0 aggregate win over Barcelona in the semi-finals. The self-styled Raumdeuter also contributed 13 goals and 13 assists in the Bundesliga, plus a goal and an assist in the 3-2 DFB Cup final win over VfB Stuttgart.

The Space Interpreter 

Raumdeuter - or 'interpreter of space' - was a term that Müller himself coined in a fascinating 2011 interview with the Süddeutsche Zeitung . How else to describe such an unorthodox and unwieldy forward player? Though he boasts few of the skills prized by world-class frontmen - dribbling, long-range shooting, fancy footwork - Müller's reading of the game is unparalleled. His ability to eke out space for himself and teammates is central to his game, and he has perfected the art of being in the right place at the right time – with or without the ball.

"I understand that many find it hard to get me as a player," he once told The Observer . "They say: 'Impossible, how did he do that?' But at some point, they maybe started thinking: 'Oh, he's quite good after all!'"

Müller's position has been a source of curious debate for many years, but the bottom line is that when he plays, goals happen. In his 14 full Bundesliga seasons, the Pähl native has reached double figures on seven occasions in terms of goals, and 11 in terms of assists. In total, he has racked up over 140 goals and 150 assists in more than 450 top-flight appearances. 

"Thomas always scored goals, in training and in games," recalled legendary youth coach Hermann Gerland, the man who recommended Müller to Klinsmann. "He wasn't ready to play consistently well over 90 minutes, but he provided goals! And that's the most important thing in football."

Watch: Is Müller the best in the world without the ball?

So how would Müller - not necessarily the most comfortable with the ball at his feet - fit into the possession-based system of Pep Guardiola , who arrived in Bavaria at the start of the 2013/14 season? Very nicely indeed, as it turned out.

Demonstrating his tactical flexibility, Müller eventually tucked in from the right flank - where he was chiefly used by Heynckes in the treble-winning season. He continued to provide goals on a regular basis, scoring 13 and setting up 11 as Bayern defended their league title in 2013/14.

On top of the world

The summer of 2014 would see Müller join the hallowed inner circle of players to have won the Bundesliga, UEFA Champions League and FIFA World Cup - joining former Bayern legends such as Gerd Müller, Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeneß . Germany travelled to Brazil as one of the tournament favourites - and there was far greater expectation surrounding Müller, as winner of the 2010 Golden Boot. Neither would disappoint.

Müller repeated his performance from South Africa with five more goals, including a hat-trick in the first game against Portugal and the opener in the incredible 7-1 demolition of hosts Brazil in the semi-finals. Club teammate Mario Götze may have got the winning goal in the final against Argentina, but Müller's top-scoring contribution for the world champions was recognised as he finished fifth in that year's FIFA Ballon d'Or vote.

"Müller is a natural talent," Germany coach Joachim Löw said. "He has played brilliantly since 2010. He has both feet on the ground and can deal with praise or criticism, success or failure, better than almost anyone."

Müller kept proving his national coach right throughout 2014/15, when he was able to start counting on former Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski as a foil in attack. Whether used out wide or more centrally, he thrived under Guardiola, continuing to ghost between the lines and exploit space in inimitable ways.

He enjoyed his most prolific season in 2015/16. Playing deeper and to the right of Lewandowski in a 4-2-3-1, Müller notched up no fewer than 20 goals in the Bundesliga and 32 in all competitions. The Poland striker fared even better, scoring 42 times, as the two men contributed 74 goals towards Bayern's Bundesliga and DFB Cup double.

Bayern underwent another managerial change in 2016/17, with Carlo Ancelotti replacing Guardiola, but the ever-present Müller continued to play a key role in attack, once again showing his chameleon-like ability to adapt to different systems and coaches. Under the Italian he reverted to a more altruistic role, scoring only five goals in the Bundesliga but conjuring up 16 assists.

"He's atypical because he's a great forward with an unorthodox skill set," Ancelotti told ESPN . "We expect great forwards to be outstanding in terms of athleticism, technique or creativity. Instead, his strength is tactical, in that ability to read the game and fill the right space at the right time."

Bouncebackability

While Ancelotti was initially effusive in his praise, the relationship between the Italian and the dressing room began to sour as time went by. When Müller was dropped to the bench against Werder Bremen early in 2017/18, he wasn't shy about voicing his displeasure.

"Obviously my qualities are not entirely wanted," he pointedly observed. "I don't know what the coach expects of me."

Ancelotti was relieved of his duties in September 2017 after a chastening Champions League defeat against Paris Saint-Germain. Heynckes returned for a fourth stint at the helm, and suddenly Müller began to click back into gear. He was on target against Stuttgart and Dortmund, before hitting the milestone of 100 Bundesliga goals against Werder Bremen. Bayern roared back to win the league title with five games to spare, while Müller topped the assists chart by laying on 14 goals – 12 of them after being reunited with his former treble-winning coach.

Watch: Müller Top 5 Bundesliga goals

"Müller is the most extraordinary player in German football history, along with the great Gerd Müller ," Heynckes told DFL Magazine in 2020, two years after leaving Bayern for the final time. "He is still showing the qualities that have always distinguished him: being a team player, hard-working and hard-running. On top of that he's a driving force on the pitch, which is now clearer than ever."

Despite that effusive praise, Müller was set to face some of his biggest challenges in a Bayern shirt following Heynckes' retirement at the end of 2017/18. Germany's poor showing at that summer's World Cup in Russia also compounded some of his problems at club level, especially when Löw made the shock announcement in March 2019 that Müller, Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng would no longer be selected for Die Mannschaft .

Niko Kovač had been appointed as Heynckes' replacement, but Müller never really flourished under the former Bayern and Croatia midfielder. For the majority of his 16-month stint in charge, Kovac favoured a 4-1-4-1 formation, with Müller usually tucked into midfield alongside Leon Goretzka. With less freedom of movement, greater distance between him and Lewandowski and a certain degree of tactical confusion, Müller 'only' provided nine assists and six goals in the Bundesliga. A respectable return for most players, no doubt, but it was the first time in almost a decade that Bayern's No. 25 had failed to hit double digits in one of the two metrics.

Müller was nevertheless a regular starter throughout 2018/19. He made Kovac's XI in 28 of 34 games in the Bundesliga and started all but one DFB Cup game. He only missed the Champions League last-16 defeat to Liverpool because of suspension, having picked up the first straight red card of his career against Ajax. Overall, Bayern had a strong campaign, winning yet another Bundesliga crown and easing past RB Leipzig 3-0 in the DFB Cup final.

Yet, as with Ancelotti, cracks began to appear in the relationship between Kovac and his dressing room. By the start of 2019/20, the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss was no longer adhering to Van Gaal's 'Müller will always play' ethos, dropping the club legend to the bench for a run of six consecutive games. Philippe Coutinho was admittedly performing well, but the treatment of such an influential figure clearly didn't sit well with other members of the squad. Serge Gnabry spoke out at one Germany camp, saying Müller "deserves a little more respect", and that it was "hard to imagine Bayern Munich without him."

It was perhaps the bleakest moment in Müller's long career with the club. He later admitted to Der Spiegel that it was the second time he had seriously considered leaving Bayern, following Manchester United's attempts to lure him to Old Trafford in 2015. But he stayed put, and everything changed after Bayern were hammered 5-1 in Frankfurt at the start of November. Kovac was shown the door and assistant coach Hansi Flick was given the top job, sparking a sensational turnaround for both Müller and the team.

Hansi flicks a switch

Flick had spent many years working as Löw's assistant with Germany, so he knew Müller's game inside out and was perfectly aware of what he could bring to the table. His first game in charge set the tone: Müller played the full 90 minutes and provided two assists as Bayern thrashed title rivals Dortmund 4-0. Over the following weeks and months, he would become a central figure as Flick's men romped to another treble.

"You can't always grasp his playing style, but you can't quantify what he brings to the team and the club either," Flick said of Müller. "He's always positive, has the energy levels of an 18-year-old and spurs on all the players. You can only take your hat off to what he has achieved in his career – it's unique. There will never be anyone like him."

Flick restored Müller to his favoured position, a slightly freer forward role just behind Lewandowski, and the results were spectacular. By the end of 2019/20, Müller had notched eight goals and a staggering 21 assists, a new record in a single Bundesliga season. All those goals added up to a lot of wins: 29 in 30 outings between the middle of December and the back end of August, when Bayern avenged their previous defeat to PSG to win the Champions League for the sixth time. Perhaps the standout moment was the historic 8-2 victory over Barcelona – which had shades of Germany's 7-1 against Brazil – with Müller scoring twice and getting a late assist for Coutinho. A few months earlier, during lockdown, he had extended his contract with the record Bundesliga champions until 2023.

"I've been with Bayern for a good two-thirds of my life now, so you can't say the club and I are just along for the ride," Müller said when penning his new deal. "We fight for each other. This club is not just any old employer for me. It's my passion."

The Bundesliga GOAT

Described as a "figurehead" by former sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic and erstwhile CEO  Oliver Kahn , Müller carried his fantastic form into 2020/21. He snatched a goal and an assist as Bayern began with an 8-0 drubbing of a hapless Schalke and never looked back. With 31 starts, 18 assists and 11 goals, he once again played a major role in the Bavarians' conquest of a ninth consecutive  Meisterschale , his 10th with the club. And by picking up an 11th Bundesliga winner's medal at the end of 2021/22, he moved one clear of former teammate David Alaba as the most decorated player in Bayern and league history. "I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to break the record," he once admitted to Sport Bild . 

Müller's superb run did not go unnoticed over at DFB headquarters, with Löw finally recalling him to the Germany squad ahead of UEFA Euro 2020. The four-time world champions were still a work in progress at the 2021 tournament – going out to finalists England in the last 16.

The hope ahead of the 2022 World Cup was that the experience offered by Müller along with the likes of Neuer and Mario Götze could blend with the energy of wunderkinds such as Jamal Musiala and Karim Adeyemi . Things didn't go quite as planned - with Müller and Germany unable to make it out of the group stage. The experienced hand played in all three of Germany's matches. Despite a whopping 126 international appearances, he is eager to play on and hopefully inspire Germany back to success with EURO 2024 looming on the horizon in his homeland.

If there is a man who knows a thing or two about playing to his strengths, it is certainly Müller, whose overall footballing ability sometimes seems greater than the sum of its parts. This is a player who broke into the Bayern first team in 2009/10 and has hardly left it since, only missing 38 Bundesliga games over the course of 14 seasons up to and including 2022/23.

While other academy graduates like Philipp Lahm and Toni Kroos were sent out to cut their teeth on loan – or even sold, in the case of Hummels – Müller always stayed put, which meant he reached the historic landmark of 600 competitive appearances for Bayern in late 2021.

Franz Beckenbauer, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Philipp Lahm and Lothar Matthäus - those are just some of the illustrious names Müller has surpassed on the list of total appearances for Bayern. When he took to the field against Bochum on Matchday 20 of 2022/23 - and scored the opening goal for good measure - it took him past his namesake Gerd Müller on the highest ever number of Bundesliga appearances by a Bayern outfield player - 428. His 442nd resulted in his 12th Bundesliga title. He now ranks only behind Sepp Maier for appearances (473 Bundesliga appearances, 706 in all competitions), while he now has more Bundesliga wins than any other player in Bayern's history having moved beyond 323 top-flight victories during the 2023/24 campaign.

Watch: Analysis: Tireless Thomas Müller

"Nobody could have predicted the career he's had," his former youth coach Gerland once confided to Bayern's media team. "But he had the right club and the right coaches at the right time. And then he took his chance and put in very good performances."

Those performances have made Müller one of Bayern's all-time greats, a leader on and off the pitch – it's no surprise to see him donning the captain's armband when appearing without Neuer. Müller's contract with the club was extended in May 2022 for another year until June 2024 and then again in December 2023 until 2025, a nod to his ever-important role at the club.

The goals and assists don't flow quite as readily as in his younger years, but Müller still has the knack of cutting it in big matches. His  brace against Dortmund in 2022/23, for one, proved a telling moment in the closest title race for 13 years.

The boy from Pähl continues to enjoy a glittering career with the club down the road, and there's no telling just how many further pages of footballing history he will end up writing.

Winner of the Bundesliga, DFB Cup, Champions League, World Cup and Golden Boot, Thomas Müller is a world-class talent, genuinely unique – and he's Bayern to the bone. With an unprecedented 500th win now under his belt, the path towards 700 games for his club just got even brighter.   

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Bayern look hopeless in Champions League but Thomas Muller remains calm: 'They have to come to Munich'

Bayern's home form brings a positive light to a disappointing loss at lazio.

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After a 1-0 loss to Lazio in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16, a lot needs to change for Bayern Munich heading back to Germany for the second leg. Bayern lacked cohesion at the Stadio Olimpico and were susceptible to Maurizio Sarri's Lazio gameplan with things going from bad to worse when center back Dayot Upamecano was dismissed in the 67th minute of the match.  Ciro Immobile sank the ensuing penalty to give Lazio the victory.

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Bayern seemed helpless and lacked cohesion taking 17 shots with none finding the target as star striker Harry Kane registered his third performance in the last five games without putting a shot on frame. And yet, they'll return to Allianz Arena only needing a goal to force penalties and two goals to advance to the last eight teams remaining in the competition. For as poor as this match against Lazio was -- and it was very poor -- this is Bayern's tie to lose for a few reasons.

It begins with confidence which Thomas Muller touched on following the match.

"We missed our chances in the first half. I think we had a good start to the game, we had a good approach in the game also, the coach had a good plan for the game but it's on us players to score the goals when we create the chances," he said. 

"The first half was good but we have to be honest, the second half we gave it away. We made mistakes, horrible mistakes at this level. The penalty was a little unlucky but you also have to say Ciro Immobile forced two, three, four guys to fight with him without winning the ball and in the end with the red card and maybe 30 minutes with one man down, it's an okay result. I'm long enough in this business, 1-0 is not good, we wanted more, but they have to come to Munich and we will see what will happen but with one man down with the 1-0, I'm fine."

"To be 30 minutes with one man down, it's an okay result." Bayern Munich's Thomas Müller reacts to a rare first leg loss vs. Lazio ❌ pic.twitter.com/tPt0j2atHr — CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) February 14, 2024

Muller is right to have that confidence returning home to Munich as well. In league play and Champions League, Bayern have an 11-2-1 record at home scoring 43 goals and allowing 11. When they leave the friendly confines of Germany, they have a 10-1-3 record, scoring 28 goals and allowing 18. This raises concerns for later rounds in the Champions League but facing Lazio, who have only won six of their 15 road matches in Serie A and Champions League play, a team like Bayern should be confident.

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Eventually, Bayern will need to perform better in road matches if they are to win UCL for the first time since 2020 but where things are currently, all Thomas Tuchel needs to do is steer his side to the next round of the tournament and use that to build confidence for advancing further while trying to catch Bayer Leverkusen atop the Bundesliga. Looking any further down the road will only lead to Bayen tripping over their feet more like Wednesday's loss as pressure on Tuchel grows .

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Thomas Müller: How he is still an integral part of Bayern and Germany

10 Bundesliga titles in a row, 11 in total. Six DFB-Pokal trophies. Seven DFL-Supercup wins. Two Champions League wins, with the UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cups alongside them both. And to top that all off, one 2014 World Cup . Breathtaking honours for perhaps the most underrated player of the modern era. 

Thomas Müller is rarely spoken of when compiling a list of the world’s best players, but for a player whose trophies cabinet exceeds that of Bayern Munich ’s Der Klassiker rivals Borussia Dortmund , how does his excellence stay under the radar yet he is still an integral orchestrator for Die Roten ?

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To uncover this misunderstood role of the Raumdeuter , this player analysis will showcase the skill set unique to Thomas Müller that embodies his playing style, illustrating the fundamental principles behind the player.

Raumdeuter –  ‘Space Interpreter’

report 24 news thomas müller

Müller has a very unique role within the Bayern Munich system, sacrificing his defensive responsibilities for playmaking in the final third. Being able to top the number of assists and key passes in the Bundesliga highlights the lethal impact that Müller can have. Utilising his freedom to roam across the pitch to full effect, the German has created his own playstyle.

‘ Raumdeuter’ the name of the role Müller came up with himself translates to ‘space interpreter’. Relying heavily on an astute mind and an incredible understanding of tactics , positioning and spaces makes it so unique in football. Müller takes advantage of his astonishing intelligence as he possesses no outstanding physical qualities; he is not known for his speed, dribbling, strength or startling finishing ability.

The name of the role itself provides a fantastic summary of what the German utilises to underpin his movement and positioning on the pitch. The role is widely misunderstood within football as it is a philosophy only manifested by Thomas Müller.

Dissecting the main features of his role, there are four main parts to his game. The first of which is most important for him to get information on the pitch: His scanning.

Scanning is a key skill for any position on the pitch, with each role requiring varying scanning demands. For a Raumdeuter , awareness plays a huge part, with it being the only way to find the spaces on the pitch to determine the best positions to occupy. For Müller to be able to find and recognise where the spaces are on the pitch, he must make sure that he has a clear picture of the pitch whenever he receives the ball or moves around the pitch.

report 24 news thomas müller

Even when the ball is on the opposite wing, Müller is scanning to be able to anticipate the next few passes. Müller is constantly swivelling his head to notice where the vacant spaces are on the pitch which allows Müller to decide where to position himself depending on the position of the ball and the players around him.

In and around the box, Müller thrives from his impeccable scanning. Because of the limited space in the penalty area being able to find a yard of space can be the difference between a shot getting blocked and it hitting the back of the net. Getting assists is what Müller tops the charts in for the Bundesliga with 15 for the 2021/22 season.

Against Wolfsburg Müller used his awareness to full effect. As Sané drove the ball into the box, Müller had a quick check towards the players bunched in front of the goal. Following this scan and with the knowledge that the defensive line of Wolfsburg will drop to cut off Sané, Müller pulled his run to the edge of the box.

report 24 news thomas müller

Now unmarked, Sané cuts the pass back to Müller. From here, Müller doesn’t need to think about his next pass as he has already determined his next move; to dink the ball for Upamecano to head home.

report 24 news thomas müller

Scanning on the pitch is very difficult in the centre of the pitch, even for top-level professionals, because of the 360 degrees of the pitch they must look at. To combat this, Müller prefers to drift towards the wide channel, with the increased amount of pitch visible from this zone.

Positioning

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Müller’s heatmap highlights his movement towards the right wing as he looks to examine the pitch. When around the entry point for the final third, the wide channel provides lots of space and time on the ball, as well as the opportunity to get a picture of the whole pitch.

The biggest issue for an attacking midfielder situated in the wide channel is the lack of creative spark close to the goal, and it is limited to one side of the pitch. To combat this issue, Müller utilises the half-spaces, finding larger pockets of space in this area between the opposition.

report 24 news thomas müller

Half-spaces

report 24 news thomas müller

Potentially influenced by Pep Guardiola’s time as Die Roten manager, the half-spaces are the most damaging channel for attacking playmakers to operate within. The potency of this space comes from the increased passing options it provides for the attacker, presenting the opportunity to play down the wing, centrally or dribbling the ball closer to the goal in the half-space. 

Defending a player of Müller’s quality in the half-space is very challenging with him situating between the full-back and centre-half, finding himself unmarked frequently during a match.

report 24 news thomas müller

Müller’s excellence comes from his ability to maximise the gaps in the opposition shape, as he punishes defenders focusing on the ball to slip into free spaces. From the Stuttgart match above, Müller found himself between the defensive and midfield line in a congested area of the pitch. Recognizing the space towards the central channel of the final third, Müller dropped to the blindside of his markers to give himself more room.

  After receiving the ball, Müller had the awareness to direct his first touch towards the goal with Lewandowski drawing the attention of the covering defenders. The relationship between his teammates, opposition and spaces is something Müller is masterful at recognising; this is a part of his game very few players share with him.

  Against Cologne, Müller once again used movement to open up spaces on the pitch by carrying the ball himself to create passing options. Catching the Cologne defence on the break, Bayern found themselves with a numerical advantage. 

However, with three players blocking Müller’s path to goal, he decided to change the space he occupied to create a new picture on the pitch.

report 24 news thomas müller

Müller decided to dribble the ball centrally to open up space for Musiala on the overlap, forcing the three defenders for Cologne to focus on the German dribbling the ball. The dropping defence of Cologne now left an opening for Müller to slip through Lewandowski in front of goal, along with two other passing options.

report 24 news thomas müller

Choosing to play the through ball to Lewandowski (the second option), Bayern took a 1-0 lead. This movement is something Müller commonly performs moving within the half-space to create new angles for passes.

  Being able to use space so effectively is what makes the Raumdeuter role so difficult to learn because it requires an understanding of tactics, players, teammates and most of all spaces to make split-second decisions.

  Using the same skill set, not only does Müller assist goals, but he also scores plenty of goals for the six-time Champions League-winning club. Much like when creating chances, Müller stays one step ahead of his opponents.

Anticipation & Goal Scoring

Picking up the golden boot in the 2010 World Cup and averaging exactly 0.5 goals per 90 in his entire time in the Bundesliga displays the goalscoring side to his game. In the 2021-22 season, the German had the fifth – most shots from open play across Europe’s top five leagues with 58 .

Making runs into space to receive the ball is an obvious way for the German to score as this translates well from his playmaking role. In a similar situation to the Lewandowski assist against Cologne, Bayern found themselves in a four versus four on a retreating Union Berlin defence.

report 24 news thomas müller

Without the ball this time, Müller intelligently made a run towards the open space in the half-space, in the opposite direction to where the ball was travelling. Exploiting the space on the outside of the defenders allowed the Bayern player on the ball to carry it further central to draw in more of the Union Berlin players. With a simple through ball, Müller found himself free with the ball on the edge of the box.

report 24 news thomas müller

From here, the homegrown Bavarian took his time to slot home what was a spectacular break from Bayern and a goal to add to contribute to his eight for the 2021/22 season. All the skills for a Raumdeuter contribute to his goalscoring ability and are further enhanced in the box when combined with his anticipation and poacher instincts.

  The goal scored by the 32-year-old against Wolfsburg encapsulates his anticipation and willingness to get on the end of anything in the box. Being aware that the defender marking him is focused on Gnabry taking his shot, Müller slips off his marker to be situated in front of the goalkeeper completely unmarked.

report 24 news thomas müller

With the ball dropping straight to his feet, it is just a simple finish for the German but ultimately comes down to work he had already done as he tirelessly chases down second balls in the box with no reward.

  Müller can be used as a centre-forward, as he was in his 20-goal Bundesliga campaign. When in attacking midfield, though, he has achieved double figures in six of his 12 full seasons in Munich which is incredible for an attacking midfielder when paired with the consistent chart-topping number of assists.

Thomas Müller is truly a one-of-a-kind player, possessing the goalscoring ability of a striker and the creative spark of a midfielder. Pulling both of those skill sets together is what has created this role as a ‘Space interpreter’, something is never before seen in football. The German international has taken football intelligence, awareness and movement to a new level in elite football.  

  When looking at his honours and statistics they display the quality he possesses when on and off the ball. When picking the best-attacking midfielders, he must be high up on the list. Mastering his own unique role the 32-year-old can definitely be put down as a one-club legend and a special individual in the beautiful game.

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Jared Guzenda is a football analyst based in Cardiff, Wales. He has a love for the tactical side of the beautiful game.

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The attacks started around 10:30 p.m. in the city of Bell when authorities responding to a report of gunfire found a man wounded and a second uninjured, Meyer said.

A Los Angeles County sheriff's vehicle

The first man was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

Just after midnight, in a community just outside Los Angeles on Florence Avenue, another gunfire report led deputies to a parking lot, where they found a man with gunshot wounds who ultimately was pronounced dead at the scene, Meyer said.

About 12 minutes later, yet another gunfire report in Cudahy sent deputies to the area, where they found two boys who had been struck. One was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other was stabilized at a hospital, Meyer said.

Just before 2 a.m. Monday, a Huntington Park police officer on patrol discovered a man down in the street, Meyer said. The man was declared dead at the scene, he said.

Meyer named none of the victims.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department took command, said Meyer, the captain of the sheriff's Homicide Bureau. Security camera video appeared to show a Honda Pilot SUV at or near each scene, he said.

San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies on patrol Monday afternoon came across a Pilot with a matching plate number, stopped it and took a person into custody, Meyer said.

Los Angeles detectives quickly took custody of the man, identified as Gary Jonathan Garcia Jr., 42. Meyer said he had an "extensive criminal history."

Another suspect was captured in Compton on Monday night with the help of SWAT team members, Meyer said. He was identified as Timberland Wayne McKneely, 20.

Meyer identified the suspect as Wayne McNeely Timberland at the news conference, but the identity with McNeely as a surname matches county jail inmate records and a sheriff's statement Tuesday night. He has no criminal history, Meyer said.

The suspects were each being held in lieu of $2 million bail, the sheriff’s department said in its Tuesday night statement. The department confirmed the two were also booked on suspicion of murder but added that charges of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder were also recommended in booking paperwork.

Meyer said a case would be forwarded to prosecutors for consideration of possible charges later this week.

The county public defender's office said by email that it is not representing the suspects, at least not yet, but that two of its lawyers tried unsuccessfully to meet with them in jail.

"Our office will continue its efforts to speak with both despite being denied access," the office said.

It was not clear which suspect, if either, is believed to have opened fire, Meyer said. He also said at the news conference that there was nothing to indicate that they knew any of the victims.

Both Garcia and Timberland, along with a third person wanted in connection with the attacks but not identified by name, are affiliated with a gang, he said.

Some of the Los Angeles gangs that have expanded across the region and country have roots southeast of downtown. Police did not name the specific gang the suspects are believed to belong to out of concern for public safety.

Alex Alonso, a Cal State Long Beach Chicano studies professor noted for his gang expertise, said he's unaware of a gang using random killings of people on the street as a rite of passage.

"It definitely doesn’t sound like a gang initiation," he said. "But who knows?"

Janice Hahn, the elected county supervisor who represents the region, praised the sheriff's department for nabbing suspects so soon after the crimes.

"I think it put everybody on edge," she said at the news conference. "I’m so grateful to stand here today."

report 24 news thomas müller

Dennis Romero is a breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital. 

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17 dead, 24 wounded in school shooting in Russia

A guman killed at least 17 people, including 11 children, at a school in central Russia (Sept. 26)

In this image taken from video, school children run from the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

In this image taken from video, school children run from the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

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In this image taken from video, servicemen and emergency employees carry the wounded from the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

In this image taken from video, servicemen carry a wounded person from the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

In this image taken from video, emergency employees carry the wounded from the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

People gather to lay flowers, put toys and light candles in memory of victims of the shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in a school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region. (AP Photo/Sergei Kuznetsov)

In this handout image taken from video released by the Russian Investigative Committee, ammunition are seen on a table in a classroom at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. A gunman on Monday morning killed several people and wounded others in a school in central Russia, authorities said. (Russian Investigative Committee via AP)

In this handout image taken from video released by the Russian Investigative Committee, ammunition are seen on a table at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. A gunman on Monday morning killed 13 people and wounded 21 others in a school in central Russia, authorities said. Russia’s Investigative Committee said in statement that seven children were among those killed in the shooting in the school in Izhevsk, a city about 960 kilometers (596 miles) east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region. (Russian Investigative Committee via AP)

Funeral workers carry a body of victim at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in a school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region. (AP Photo)

People gather to lay flowers and toys and light candles after the shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (AP Photo/Sergei Kuztsov)

In this image taken from video, a man helps a boy to run from the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

In this image taken from video, an emergency situation employee caries a wounded boy from the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

In this image taken from video, emergency situation employees help wounded people to escape the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed 15 people and wounded 24 others in the school in central Russia. According to officials, 11 children were among those killed in the Monday morning shooting. (Izhlife.ru via AP)

Women arrive to lay flowers near the entrance of the school No. 88 after a shooting, in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed several people and wounded others in a school in central Russia. (AP Photo)

A police officer guards an entrance of the school No. 88 as a man lays flowers in memory of victims after a shooting, in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Authorities say a gunman has killed several people and wounded others in a school in central Russia. (AP Photo)

MOSCOW (AP) — A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia on Monday, killing 17 people and wounding 24 others before shooting himself dead, authorities said.

The shooting took place in School No. 88 in Izhevsk, a city 960 kilometers (600 miles) east of Moscow in the Udmurtia region.

Russia’s Investigative Committee identified the gunman as 34-year-old Artyom Kazantsev, a graduate of the same school, and said he was wearing a black t-shirt bearing “Nazi symbols.” No details about his motives have been released.

The government of Udmurtia said 17 people, including 11 children, were killed in the shooting. According to Russia’s Investigative Committee, 24 other people, including 22 children, were wounded in the attack.

The governor of Udmurtia, Alexander Brechalov, said the gunman, who he said was registered as a patient at a psychiatric facility, killed himself after the attack.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the shooting as “a terrorist act” and said Russian President Vladimir Putin has given all the necessary orders to the relevant authorities.

“President Putin deeply mourns deaths of people and children in the school, where a terrorist act took place,” Peskov told reporters Monday.

The school educates children between grades one and 11. It has been evacuated and the area around it has been cordoned off, the governor said.

Russia’s National Guard said Kazantsev used two non-lethal handguns adapted to fire real bullets. The guns were not registered with the authorities.

A criminal probe into the incident has been launched on charges of multiple murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Izhevsk, a city of 640,000, is located west of the Ural mountains in central Russia.

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A Crucial Inflation Report Card

Investors and the White House will pore over the latest Consumer Price Index report for clues on prices — and potential interest rate cuts.

By Andrew Ross Sorkin ,  Ravi Mattu ,  Bernhard Warner ,  Sarah Kessler ,  Michael J. de la Merced ,  Lauren Hirsch and Ephrat Livni

A shopper in a dark coat checks her phone as she pushes her red cart past a store display of marked-down tools.

Inflation back in the spotlight

An S&P 500 on a five-week winning streak. A growing economy. Solid wage gains. And growing consumer and business optimism. These are the ingredients for an emerging Goldilocks scenario for the U.S. economy.

What would help complete that recipe? Cooling inflation, which would stoke investor hopes that the Fed would soon lower borrowing costs. (That said, Fed officials continue to warn that it’s still too early to talk rate cuts.)

The prospects of that economic ideal will be tested on Tuesday with the release of fresh Consumer Price Index data.

Here’s what to expect: Economists have forecast a headline C.P.I. reading of 2.9 percent for January on an annualized basis, its smallest gain since April 2021 . Core C.P.I., which strips out food and fuel prices, is expected to come in at 3.7 percent on an annualized basis, down from 5.6 percent in January 2023 — strong progress, but well above the Fed’s 2 percent target.

There are reasons for caution, however. The slowdown has been driven by goods disinflation and lower energy prices. But economists are closely monitoring how attacks by Houthi rebels on ship traffic in the Red Sea could affect commerce costs and push up oil prices.

The cost of crude oil has climbed since the start of the year, though it remains well below the levels hit in the aftermath of the Hamas-led attacks Oct. 7.

The Fed is watching what businesses do. There’s the risk that companies will raise prices in the face of rising input costs tied to snarled supply chains, as they did during the early days of the Covid pandemic. Progressive lawmakers and President Biden, have criticized that as “greedflation” and “shrinkflation.” (More on that below).

Thomas Barkin , the president of the Richmond Fed, warned on Monday that companies will be reluctant to lower prices, creating “a real risk that there will be continued inflationary pressure.”

But consumers and C.E.O.s are growing more optimistic. In the New York Fed’s monthly inflation survey on Monday, respondents predicted slightly more progress on inflation over the next three years. And a measure of C.E.O. confidence published by the Conference Board last week was at a two-year high , as corporate leaders anticipate lower inflation and rate cuts.

Markets this morning were pricing in roughly 50-50 odds that the Fed would make its first rate cut in May. Watch to see whether that holds up after Tuesday’s C.P.I. reading.

HERE’S WHAT’S HAPPENING

Super Bowl LVIII sets a viewing record. More than 123 million people watched Sunday night’s game, according to preliminary figures from Nielsen and CBS . It’s a reminder of the N.F.L.’s titanic stature in the cultural landscape — and why it can charge ever-higher fees to broadcast its games.

Elon Musk opposes Ukraine aid efforts by Congress. The billionaire sided with Republican skeptics of a $95 billion foreign aid package — which just passed the Senate — saying that “ there is no way in hell ” that Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, would lose the war. Musk has also rebutted reports that Russian forces were using his Starlink satellite internet service in Ukraine.

Bret Taylor announces a new A.I. start-up. Taylor, who is OpenAI’s new chairman and Twitter’s final one, has introduced Sierra , designed to help companies (including WeightWatchers and SiriusXM) use artificial intelligence to reach and interact with customers. Companies are racing to commercialize A.I. as investors make huge bets on the technology’s promise of bigger profits.

The growing “shrinkflation” debate

In a Super Bowl video complaining about “rip-off” prices for his beloved ice cream and snack foods, President Biden didn’t single out brands by name. But he did thrust “shrinkflation” — a topic that has been weighing on consumers — back into the spotlight.

How the idea came about: Biden, who has already been calling out companies for “ junk fees ” and “ greedflation ,” picked up on the term during a trip to Pennsylvania last month with the state’s senior senator, Bob Casey. (Shrinkflation is when consumers are charged the same prices for smaller amounts of product .)

The president pushed his staff to consider policy responses, seeing it as a kind of kitchen-table economics issue, a White House spokesman told DealBook. The consensus: The Super Bowl seemed like a good opportunity to tie shrinkflation to consumer brands.

Inflation has been an Achilles’ heel for Biden, putting pressure on his poll ratings despite a growing economy and a strong jobs market. Calling attention to shrinkflation is an effort to change the narrative on a practice deeply unpopular with consumers, according to a recent report by the polling firm Data for Progress.

The video is generating buzz. The Instagram video has drawn more than 111,000 likes, making it one of the most successful White House campaigns this year. (That said, it’s getting a cooler reception on X.)

Look for more shrinkflation talk this year. Senator Casey, who has been focusing on consumers’ diminished purchasing power (and is running for re-election ), has spoken with consumer-product trade associations about their members’ pricing strategies and packaging practices. He’s calling for legislation to address what he sees as a deceptive practice.

Behind the blowback on Biden’s TikTok move

President Biden’s re-election campaign on Sunday stepped where few American politicians dare — TikTok — with a lighthearted video about the Super Bowl and which member of the Kelce family he roots for. (And, of course, November.)

But the 30-second video quickly ended up in political cross hairs as Republicans accused him of hypocrisy for joining a Chinese-owned platform that his own administration fears could be abused by Beijing.

What critics are saying: Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, said the Biden team was “bragging about using a Chinese spy app ” despite TikTok being banned on federal government devices because of national security concerns. Many states have similar bans.

The Biden campaign dismissed the attacks. Kevin Munoz, a campaign spokesman, told DealBook that the federal ban doesn’t apply to the re-election campaign, which isn’t a government entity.

He added that the campaign’s presence on TikTok was “independent and apart from” an ongoing review of the app by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the interagency panel tasked with reviewing deals in the U.S. for national security concerns.

Why Biden is on TikTok is clear: He’s seeking to win over younger voters. That means seeking them out where they are and speaking in their argot. (Hence the video’s allusion to “ Dark Brandon ,” the laser-eyed Biden meme parodying right-wing conspiracies.)

The Biden campaign praised the performance of its inaugural video on Monday, announcing that it had racked up more than five million views so far. And Munoz said that the campaign isn’t ruling out deeper engagement with TikTok down the line. “There’s been no decision on whether any of the principals might also join in the future,” he said.

Bill Ackman on … Bill Ackman

Bill Ackman has gained national attention for his efforts to shake up Harvard over dissatisfaction with its handling of antisemitism and diversity initiatives. Now the billionaire hedge fund mogul is the subject of a cover story by Reeves Wiedeman for New York magazine , for which spoke expansively about his campaign, his wife and more.

Here are some highlights:

On how his Harvard campaign compares with shareholder activism:

“It’s the same thing,” he told me. “As an activist, we usually have only a small percentage of the stock — 5 percent or 10 percent — and we get a corporation to do something. How do you do that? You win by the power of the idea.”

On nominative determinism:

Ackman believes that our lives are often fated from birth. “I have a view that people become their names,” he told me. “Like, I’ve met people named Hamburger that own McDonald’s franchises.” [Ackman said his name is like “Activist Man.”]

On his efforts to defend his wife, the academic Neri Oxman, against charges of plagiarism:

Ackman estimated that he had spent “110 hours or so” battling the case on his wife’s behalf and called one of several long posts he wrote in an attempt to exonerate Oxman “the best and most important thing I have ever written,” tweeting that “I am extremely fast writer, and I am powered by a profound love that is infinite.”

On Oxman’s response to her husband’s incessant social media posting:

“There were times when she said, ‘Please don’t tweet anymore.’”

The evolving business of Tiger Woods

A month after announcing the end of his 27-year relationship with Nike, Tiger Woods has unveiled the next chapter of his career as apparel ambassador: Sun Day Red , a new lifestyle label within the TaylorMade Golf brand. (Yes, there is a red polo shirt.)

The clothing line — which was pitched to the golf icon in his Jupiter, Fla., boardroom several months ago — officially pushes Woods into the universe of athletes looking to capitalize on melding athletics and fashion.

For a growing number of stars, “lifestyle” is the next big thing:

In 2019, Roger Federer became both an investor in and a guest designer for On, the Swiss sneaker company

Tom Brady has Brady, a brand developed with Jens Grede, a co-founder of Skims

Serena Williams has a fashion line called S by Serena

“The total addressable market of what we’re doing extends way beyond golf,” David Abeles, the C.E.O. of TaylorMade, told DealBook. To that end, Sun Day Red will sell not only polos (for $115 to $175) but cashmere sweaters (from $250 to $350), shoes and more.

Abeles didn’t disclose whether Woods had something that other athletes have sought from their nonsports ventures: equity in the brand. The golfer is a “true partner in this business,” Abeles said.

Sun Day Red is the latest part of the new Woods era. Last year, he joined the PGA Tour’s board and has been a key player in deliberations over its future, including discussions with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. The tour said this month that it had raised at least $1.5 billion from U.S. investors, which will result in a huge equity payday for Woods .

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Andrew Ross Sorkin is a columnist and the founder and editor at large of DealBook. He is a co-anchor of CNBC’s "Squawk Box" and the author of “Too Big to Fail.” He is also a co-creator of the Showtime drama series "Billions." More about Andrew Ross Sorkin

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Report: Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel has lost support of key members of the squad

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Well, it was inevitable that this kind of story dropped.

According to a report from Bild journalists Christian Falk and Tobi Altschäffl (as captured by @iMiaSanMia ), the generational passing of the torch at Bayern Munich has hit a roadblock. Moreover, most of those key leadership figures within the squad might no longer support head coach Thomas Tuchel.

It is not shocking that four of players mentioned as having lost faith in Tuchel, are all players who have felt the scourge of the manager over the course of the season:

Before Tuchel joined the club, the people in charge had a clear vision of the future of FC Bayern in mind. The captains Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller were supposed to pass on the leadership and the ‘winning gene’ to the next generation of leaders Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka. Their appointment to the team council was the first step. Kimmich and Goretzka were also seen as the new heart of Bayern, who were supposed to set the pulse in midfield for years. Matthijs de Ligt was then brought in by Hasan Salihamidžić as the new defensive boss to complete the trio of new leaders.

Of the players mentioned, only Neuer is — allegedly — still standing behind Tuchel. The situation has become so dire that Kimmich, Goretzka, and De Ligt are considering leaving the club this summer, as Müller mulls his retirement:

Now out of all 5 players, Manuel Neuer is the only one still fully behind Tuchel. The captain appreciates that the coach does not let himself be influenced from the outside. Meanwhile, Thomas Müller is not a starter under Tuchel and is planning to retire in 2025. Kimmich, Goretzka and de Ligt are considering their future because they don’t feel the trust of the coach.

Now, the board could be left dealing with a “players vs. coach” situation that will fester until the summer:

Ultimately, Bayern bosses are facing a fundamental decision in the summer: either keep Tuchel and initiate a big squad overhaul including current key players, or part ways with Tuchel and bring in a new coach who trusts the current players.

From here, all fans can do is sit back and let it play out, but it does appear that battle lines have been draw — if this report is true.

Looking for more thoughts on what Bayern Munich needs to do moving forward? Check out our Bavarian Podcast Works Show on Spotify or below:

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