As is frequently the case in football, highly gifted players temporarily lose form.
Whether it is a goalkeeper losing confidence in his handling, a defender misjudging tackles, a midfielder becoming complacent in possession or a striker’s goal – scoring touch deserting him, world class players can often endure frustrating spells whereby they struggle to make as positive an impact upon their team’s performance as they are capable of.
Inspirational in Germany’s comfortable victory
That is an issue which Thomas Müller had recently been experiencing for Germany, with the Bayern Munich forward undergoing a seven-game goal drought at international level, as he failed to score during his country’s Euro 2016 campaign.
Nevertheless the 26-year-old showed his unquestionable class to emphatically end that goal drought by scoring twice for Germany, to help Joachim Low’s side begin their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 3-0 win away to Norway.
After Müller ruthlessly capitalised on hesitant Norwegian defending to give Germany the lead with 15 minutes gone in the game, on the stroke of half time, he then provided an assist for Joshua Kimmich to score his maiden international goal, by playing a wonderful through ball to his Bayern Munich teammate, which the 21-year-old despatched brilliantly beyond Rune Almenning Jarstein.
The Hertha Berlin goalkeeper was beaten again on the hour mark, as Müller scored his 34th international goal by rising to powerfully head home Sami Khedira’s fine cross. That capped a thoroughly efficient German display, which was characterised by control and superb teamwork, as Müller played an influential role in his team dominating the game.
Continuing to build an excellent international career
As well as scoring a brace and providing a goal-scoring assist, Müller produced an immaculate all round performance, as he has so often done for his country since making his international debut during Germany’s 1-0 friendly win over Argentina in March 2010.
Subsequently in the process of amassing 79 appearances and scoring 34 goals for Germany, Müller has become one of his country’s most important players, whilst he holds a similarly revered status at club level with Bayern Munich.
Courtesy of his two goals against Norway, Müller has become Germany’s 10th top goal – scorer of all time. Furthermore following Lukas Podolski’s retirement from international football, Müller is now his country’s leading active goalscorer.
In pursuit of Klose’s goal – scoring record
Given that Müller is just 26-years-old, possesses wonderful fitness levels and boasts an impressive international goal per game ration of 0.43, it is altogether conceivable that he could yet break Miroslav Klose’s record of 71 international goals.
Ultimately the prospect of endeavouring to achieve that represents a significant challenge to Müller but it is one that he undoubtedly possesses the potential to embrace, as proven by his wonderful return to goal – scoring form against Norway.
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