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Coolness close to arrogance makes world champions, says German football star Muller

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Berlin, March 24 (IANS) Mental robustness is a key factor on the way to winning a World Cup, German football star Thomas Muller has said.

“As a team, you need to be prepared to suffer but at the same time develop an easiness closed to arrogant. It’s that kind of coolness which doesn’t affect your mind in tight situations,” the Bayern striker told Xinhua in an interview.

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“In every major tournament, you always face these decisive and tight situations on the way to the top,” the Bavarian-born forward added.

In 2014 in Brazil the mission led to maximum success, but “in 2018, it was a disaster as we couldn’t turn the tight situations in our direction,” Muller recalled.

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The German team, in his perspective, contained high quality “as we had several players at top-class teams” and “we were only talking about team-related efforts such as how do we do it.”

Only a team prepared for taking advantage of the tight moments in the right way can win the competition, the attacker said.

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It takes the coolness to get the ball over the line, which requires solid determination, he said, “in 2018 we instead hit the post. We lacked conviction.”

Muller said the German team’s aim for the 2022 World Cup is to repeat the 2014 success, reports Xinhua. The Qatar tournament will be Muller’s fourth World Cup participation.

France, he stated, can’t have lost much of their quality shown in 2018, when taking the World Cup crown, “but they got eliminated at the following European Championship as early as in the last-16 stage.”

Ahead of Germany’s two friendlies against Israel and the Netherlands, the 32-year-old talked about a special year and his new role in the team of head coach Hansi Flick.

In 2010 the rookie surprisingly won the goal-getter crown (five goals and three assists) “despite me being happy to be around and focusing on not turning into an embarrassment as a newcomer.”

In 2014 “we knew exactly what to do on the pitch as a team. With Bayern, we had won the treble the year before.”

Brazil’s success was possible due to a clear plan and a convincing game philosophy in his perspective.

Muller called the 2018 tournament “a sporting catastrophe” as the Germans lost faith and could not find answers on the pitch.

World Cup success is about dealing with challenges and pressures in a relaxed way but at the same time not losing focus.

“It’s a mental case, an extremely complex issue, yes. But you should never forget about the simplicity of football,” 110 capped Muller said.

After 42 goals for Germany, the Bavarian spoke about his role in the game centre. The tactic to initiate fruitful attacks behind the front line has been consolidated.

In previous tournaments, duties covered the job on both wings. Today the striker seems to have found his place “as I get along with fast-moving strikers in front of me.”

The Bayern forward said he gained further development on his position as he has been in this position since 2020 when Bayern again took the treble under Flick.

Talking about his contract situation at Bayern, Muller spoke about two more years after his current papers expire in 2023. “I think I can play on a high level until then. What I don’t want, is to hear: ‘well he is still around, but…’,” he added.

–IANS

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