The talk leading up to Germany's opening World Cup match against Portugal was around how Cristiano Ronaldo would play against the Germans and if he could carry his team past them. The talk after the 4-0 beating Germany handed Portugal is that Thomas Muller is the man to watch this summer in Brazil, and he proved this again in Gemany's win over the United States.
Muller entered the race for the prestigious award after his hattrick against Portugal. He now currently sits on four goals, along with Lionel messi and Neymar. He scored his fourth of the tournament and ninth all time World Cup goal after a Germany corner in which Tim Howard saved a header which rebiunded to the feet of Muller. Muller powered the shot past Howard into the bottom corner with authority, the shot screaming confidence as it sailed through the air.
Muller won the Golden Boot in his first World Cup in 2010 when the event was hosted by South Africa. The Bayern Munich forward scored five goals in six appearances four years ago as Germany made it to the semi-finals only to be knocked out by tournament winners Spain. The young German side managed to finish third after beating Uruguay where Muller scored the first goal with his last goal of the tournament. The German team Muller plays a part of now are mostly older faces of the team that played then, and look to this World Cup as a success only if they fly home with the trophy.
Muller's role to Joachim Lowe's squad is to be the clinical forward they need, to be the man that can win the match himself. The only true striker in the German squad is veteran Miroslav Klose. Although Germany's all time top goal scorer, the 36 year old Lazio striker is now far from his prime and they need someone who can carry them through matches and score the goals. That man is Muller, as he is a proven poacher in front of goal. He started his career off as a striker, but has since been moved to the right wing. He still carries his striker attributes with him though, as he is able to score a header, and shoot powerfulyl with either foot. but in Muller, Joachim Low has a clinical forward that can take Germany to the end.
Muller's play style is perhaps the most unorthadox and scrappy style in all of football. He isn't an angel on the ball like his German compatriots Mesut Ozil and Mario Gotze. He doesn't take defenders on one on one. He doesn't score the most beautiful goals. What he does is underrated. To most it will look he is just lucky, and in the right place at the right time, like his second and third goals against Portugal and his opener against the United States. What he does is play as a satellite. He enters open space and orbits the defence, and anticipates. This style is one of a kind and one that defenders can't do their job against.
Muller can inspire Germany to the final. Playing around creative midfielders such as Bayern Munich teammates Mario Gotze and Toni Kroos, as well as Arsenal maestro Mesut Ozil, Muller should have a prolific campaign. Having won everything in Germany, he now has a great chance to win something for Germany.