The word ‘legend’ is often overused within football — but Thomas Muller fully deserves to be referred to as one.
Muller, 31, has a century of Germany caps to his name and helped his country lift the World Cup in 2014.
It is rare to find a one-club footballer these days but the star has spent his entire career with Bayern Munich — and is still going strong.
With nine Bundesliga titles and two Champions League successes among an impressive honours list, Muller (pictured above) has racked up 544 appearances for Bayern.
And as the German champions prepare to face Lokomotiv Moscow tonight, all the signs are that the veteran is still at the peak of his powers.
A top marksman
Now in his 13th Bundesliga season, Muller has started the 2020-21 campaign in time-honoured fashion.
He has netted three goals in five games and his expected goals tally currently stands at 1.9.
The fact Muller is outperforming that figure by 1.1 is a testament to his clinical nature and first-class finishing.
An all-round contributor
Muller’s goalscoring statistics are not to be sniffed at — but it is the Bayern man’s ability to conjure up chances for others that really sets him apart.
With four assists already this season, he is second only to team-mate Robert Lewandowski in terms of goal contributions in the league.
While Muller has a combined total of seven goals and assists, Lewandowski has weighed in with 13 thanks to a staggering 10 goals and three assists.
Balls into the box
Muller’s ability to get the ball into the box whenever he is in possession is key to his attacking impetus.
He has delivered seven crosses into the area this season and produced 13 passes into the penalty area.
Unsurprisingly, Muller has played the most key passes of any Bundesliga player so far, confirming his status as the heartbeat of Bayern’s team.
No signs of slowing down
If we compare Muller’s record of total contributions (goals and assists) per 90 minutes to previous seasons, it becomes apparent just how impressive he has been this term.
Of course, it is unlikely any player can sustain such high numbers for an entire campaign, but Muller is clearly not ready to slow down just yet.