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 talking point after the 4-0 beating Germany handed Portugal is that Thomas Muller is on a mission this summer in Brazil; his objective is to be the first person to win the Golden Boot consecutively, his targets are Portugal, The United States and Ghana.
Muller entered the race for the prestigious award after he opened the scoring for Germany with a calm and collective penalty. His goal was followed by Mats Hummels who scored a towering header from a corner delivered by Muller’s Bayern Munich teammate, Toni Kroos. Muller finished off Portugal with a goal directly before the break and secured his hat trick in the second half after Rui Patricio spilled Andre Schurrle’s shot into his feet.
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 importance to Joachim Low is unprecedented, and will be key to their World Cup challenge. The only true striker and forward with an eye for goal 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, but in Muller, Joachim Low has a clinical forward that can take Germany to the end.
The 24 year old also started off his career as a striker, but now plays as a winger. Although he was moved to the wings, Muller took his striker attributes with him and has become a proven poacher. He is able to score a header and shoot powerfully with either foot. The goals he scores are usually not the most elegant, just like his style, but are usually crucial. He adds a scrappy approach that defenders don't know how to defend against, as his goals are mostly him being in the right place at the right time.
Acting as a satellite that enters space and orbits around the opposing defence, 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.