Thomas Muller and Bayern Munich are one of modern football’s immovable


Some things never change, even when the whole world is in lockdown. On Tuesday, for example, Thomas Muller signed a new three-year deal with Bayern Munich.

The love affair between Bayern and Muller is one of the immovable certainties of modern football. A local boy with a goofy grin, a stable full of horses and a refreshing sense of humour, Muller is the apple of Bayern’s eye. 

Married for two decades now, the club and player need only reaffirm their vows from time to time, to refresh the legal basis for their unending devotion. 

Bayern Munich and Thomas Muller's love affair is one of modern football's certainties

Bayern Munich and Thomas Muller’s love affair is one of modern football’s certainties

The Germany World Cup winner signed a new three-year deal with Bayern on Tuesday

The Germany World Cup winner signed a new three-year deal with Bayern on Tuesday

There are, of course, flirtations. Every few years, as he nears the end of his contract, Muller starts making noises to suggest he is not entirely happy. 

A familiar rumour mill creaks into action again, linking the gangly forward to a move abroad – usually to the Premier League – only for Muller and Bayern to rekindle the romance after all and sign a new deal.

‘About two thirds of my life has been spent with Bayern,’ said Muller, who joined the club’s academy in 2000, after Tuesday’s announcement. 

‘It’s not just that the club and I have followed the same path, it’s more that we both fight for each other. Bayern is not just my employer, it’s my passion.’

This time around, Muller was probably as close to leaving Bayern as he had ever been. Demoted to the bench under former coach Niko Kovac, the 30-year-old was disillusioned last autumn. Yet with the arrival of new boss Hansi Flick, he and Bayern started fighting for each other again, and both player and club quickly returned to their brilliant best.

For all his frustration under Kovac, however, Bayern were never likely to let Muller leave. In an era where most global superclubs and top athletes are indistinguishable, his jovial, boy-next-door persona is an irreplaceable asset for Bayern, both on and off the field.

Muller has always flirted with leaving the club but he is now an undisputed club symbol

Muller has always flirted with leaving the club but he is now an undisputed club symbol

In German, they call him an ‘identification figure’, a clumsy cliché which both means he is a symbol of the club, and a character with whom local fans can identify amid the array of international superstars in Bayern’s ranks.

Born and raised in Pahl, a tiny town just south west of Munich, Muller joined the club at the age of ten and has been a beloved local hero since he made his first-team debut in 2008.

His wife, Lisa, is a dressage rider with a horse called Dave, and Muller himself is not afraid to get his hands dirty in the stable. Last month, he came back from a Bundesliga victory over Augsburg in the afternoon to help birth a foal in the evening. In their list of reasons for his latest contract extension, Bild put number two as ‘home and horses’.

He speaks with a Bavarian twang, and famously subjected a Latin American journalist to a barrage of regional dialect when celebrating…



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