2022 World Cup | Germany icon Lothar Matthäus weighs in on the international future of Thomas Müller

The Bavarian-born Bayern Munich star crafted an impressive international career that saw him end his 2022 World Cup campaign fourth all-time in caps and seventh all-time in goals for Germany

The inquest continues in the aftermath of Germany’s early exit from the 2022 World Cup after Hansi Flick’s Nationalelf bowed out of the group stage in consecutive tournaments in the wake of a similar disaster four years ago in Russia.

Despite a 4-2 win against Costa Rica on the final day of play in Group E, a shock loss to Japan to open hostilities in Qatar was followed up by a draw against Spain that eventually led to Germany’s inability to overturn a five-goal difference after Spain’s big win over Los Ticos to open their campaign.

Though Flick has received the full backing of the Deutscher Fußball-Bund (DFB) after the balance of their play was deemed good enough to have otherwise advanced - Germany boasting an xG over 10 during group play supports this decision on the surface - where Die Mannschaft go from here remains to be seen and questions still remain as to whether or not Bayern Munich star Thomas Müller will be among those come Euro 2024 when Germany turn host.

But for former World Cup winner and Germany all-time caps leader Lothar Matthäus, Müller is under no pressure to retire from the international stage in favor of focusing on his club career at the Allianz Arena.

“Thomas Müller is at a certain age and had phases before the World Cup where he was injured. I know such phases. I can advise Thomas to fully focus on his club. He had his best time when he didn’t play for the national team for 1-2 years.” The 61-year-old legendary German figure continued; “But if he wants to continue, he should do it if Hansi Flick needs him. I don’t want to push anyone to retire, the player has to make that decision together with the coach.”

Whether or not Müller will be needed or not is worth exploring, however, with Germany hardly bereft of gifted attacking players in what remains one of the deeper talent pools anywhere in the world.

Options that Flick took to Qatar already include wunderkind Jamal Musiala as well as Serge Gnabry, Leroy Sané, and Kai Havertz. Talented attacking options that did not make the squad for a myriad of reasons are still impressive in their own right, with Bayer Leverkusen starlet Florian Wirtz headlining an absentee list that also includes Timo Werner, Lukas Nmecha, Jan Thielmann, Kevin Schade, and Lazar Samardžić.

Though Germany are not in need of Das Reboot 2.0, there may need to be considerable changes made over the next two seasons where the next generation is given chances while the old guard is allowed to pass the baton still with heads held high.

Read below for more from the 2022 World Cup

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Match Report | Croatia squeaks into quarterfinals after penalty shootout win over Japan

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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