EVIAN: He is the only big-name forward yet to score at Euro 2016, but Thomas Mueller says his main concern is helping Germany beat France in Thursday’s Euro 2016 semi-final.
Stars like Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Poland’s Robert Lewandowski found the net in France after initially struggling to score at the European Championship finals.
But Mueller, top scorer at the 2010 World Cup and who hit 32 goals for Bayern Munich last season, has yet to open his account here.
The self-confident forward says his sole concern is helping Germany win in Marseille in their bid to add the European crown to their 2014 World Cup title.
Mueller said Germany are at the contest as world champions “and the chance to win two titles back-to-back is not something you get everyday.”
“Reaching that goal is what drives me on.
“I haven’t had that many chances here and the ones I have missed were by a matter of centimetres.
“I’m not driving myself crazy about it.
“I was the top-scorer in South Africa and we went out in the semi-finals.
“I haven’t changed anything and I’m not bothered.
“Sure, a goal would calm me down, as it would mean I wouldn’t have to answer any more questions about it,” he told reporters in Evian with a grin.
Mueller has the support of Germany’s management as they prepare to face the French.
“If we need a goal, then Mueller will score one for us,” head coach Joachim Loew said on Monday.
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff said it was just a matter of time.
“Thomas Mueller is just keeping his powder dry. Then he’ll explode,” said the former striker with a smile on Tuesday.
The mood in the German camp is of confidence, despite considerable personnel problems.
Mats Hummels is suspended, Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez are out injured, while captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is struggling with a knee strain.
Nevertheless, Mueller is relishing facing the hosts in the semis, just as Germany did at the 2014 World Cup when they romped to a 7-1 win over Brazil.
“It’s a lot of fun (to play games like this), France are a bit under pressure as the hosts,” said Mueller.
“We’re meeting then in the semi-finals, there aren’t much better games than this.
“It’s good for us again, but I’m not saying we’ll win 7-1, mind you.”