Germany’s legendary Gerd Muller says his country’s current crop of forwards are below average, with only one deserving a place in the national side.
Criticism ahead of crucial World Cup qualifier against Russia
Muller scored 365 goals in the Bundesliga and 68 times in just 62 caps for his country, so he knows a thing or two about hitting the back of the net.
Now Muller has turned his sights on Miroslav Klose, Mario Gomez and Lukas Podolski as the crucial 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa qualifier with Russia approaches.
“When you see what strikers we have in the national team today... in my day, they would not have even been allowed to even sniff the ball,” he told German television.
Only his namesake Thomas Muller of Bayern Munich deserves any praise, said the 63-year-old.
“He is an incredible young lad,” said Muller. “He can use both his left and right foot, like me. He is quick, strong in the air and he is one that can be taken to the World Cup.”
Germany’s manager hits back
Joachim Low claims the world has moved on since Muller’s heyday.
“I have the utmost respect for players like Gerd Muller, but you cannot make comparisons over decades.”
“It has become incredibly difficult for strikers,” added Low. “Football has developed particularly in the art of defending. Nowadays, strikers don't even get five minutes worth of the room that the strikers used to get over 90 minutes in a game.”
That’s fair enough, but you can’t deny Muller was bloody good. Here he is setting up one goal and scoring the other four in a 5 – 1 demolition of Switzerland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqrPCRj1P7E