MUNICH • Thomas Muller can further fuel appeals for him to be recalled by Germany when Bayern Munich launch their Champions League title defence at home to Atletico Madrid today.
Having managed a record 21 assists in the Bundesliga last season, he has continued his sparkling form this campaign by scoring five goals and creating four more in all competitions, including two goals in a 4-1 league win at Arminia Bielefeld last Saturday.
His latest eye-catching club performance has prompted fresh hopes of a Germany recall for the 31-year-old, who was dropped by Joachim Low from the national set-up last year alongside Jerome Boateng and Mats Hummels.
Now Bastian Schweinsteiger has joined fellow former Bayern and Germany players Didi Hamann and Lothar Matthaus in calling for the forward to be reinstated.
“If I was national coach, Muller as well as Boateng would be in the national side,” he told German magazine Kicker.
The 36-year-old Schweinsteiger won the 2014 World Cup in Brazil alongside Muller, who knows he still has plenty to offer Germany after 100 internationals and 38 goals.
“Everyone can see that I am in good form. Let’s just see what happens,” Muller told broadcaster ZDF.
Bayern will need his creativity against an Atletico side who have conceded just one goal in four La Liga games so far this season.
The Bavarians have a perfect record at home against Diego Simeone’s side, having twice beaten them in Munich in 2016.
Yet Atletico knocked Bayern out in the semi-finals in 2015-16 and the German side remain wary of their Spanish opponents.
Goalkeeper Manuel Neuer warned that Atletico are a “strong team” who were “uncomfortable” to play against.
7 Thomas Muller has already been involved in seven goals (scoring three plus four assists) in four Bundesliga appearances this season.
On Saturday, coach Hansi Flick criticised his team for a poor second-half performance, after individual errors led to a goal for Bielefeld and a red card for Bayern’s Corentin Tolisso. They can ill-afford a repeat against Atletico.
Joshua Kimmich should bring more stability to Bayern’s midfield, with the Germany midfielder expected to return after he missed Saturday’s game to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s second child.
BAYERN V ATLETICO
Singtel TV Ch112 & StarHub Ch216, tomorrow, 2.55am