Earlier this week, Thomas Muller spoke out about the current state of modern day football. In a brief but bold interview, the Bayern forward clarified the fact that even players are concerned about the direction football is moving in.
Muller's comments just cement the fact that football is changing, and fast.
There has been an earthquake of serious magnitude in football of late. China are trying to break boundaries, while players like Paul Pogba earn cataclysmic amounts every single day.
Money and power continue to dominate our game.The landscape of football has changed. But for the better?
Muller's comments are incredibly refreshing.
Footballers are often perceived as closed books, hesitant to answer with any sort of opinion but Muller breaks that stereotype here with some great quotes.
"The figures that are being paid these days are absurd. No human being is worth that kind of money, Modern day football players are like commercial goods. But this should not affect us.
"You are only going to put yourself under a lot of pressure if you start thinking about a high transfer fee."
Muller goes onto highlight the importance of being level headed - to not let the 'circus' get to your head:
"I am quite relaxed under all this. It is all about having fun on the pitch for me, to help your team-mates and to win things. But you have to realise that you are part of a business when you are a football player.
"You are part of one big circus. You cannot let this get to you or it will drive you crazy as a human being."
Muller finally admits that he hopes he is retired before cameras are installed in dressing rooms.
In my personal opinion, it would totally eradicate any sort of excitement and mystery surrounding pre and post match preparations. Here's how Thomas looks at the situation:
"Cameras in the dressing room would be too much for me," Müller said. "I hope to have retired before that happens. A camera misses nothing in the dressing room. A team lives in the dressing room, what happens there is of no interest to any one else.
"Cameras in the dressing room would be a no-go for me."
Take a bow, Thomas. A footballer who has an actual opinion and is not afraid to voice it. We need more Muller's in our beautiful game.
But back in November, after San Marino suffered a heavy 8-0 defeat to Germany, Thomas Muller didn't hold back during his post-match comments, claiming that he 'didn't understand the point of such uneven games.
Muller went onto say: "I understand that for them it is special to play against the world champions, I understand also that they can only defend with tough tackling. For this reason, though, I wonder if these are not games which bring unnecessary risks."
After Muller's comments appeared in media outlets around the world, San Marino have now responded to Muller's comments in the best way possible.
Here is the response in full:
Dearest Thomas Muller,
You're right. The games like that on a Friday night, they're nothing. To you. On the other hand, dear Thomas, you do not need to come to San Marino for almost nothing in a weekend in which, without the Bundesliga, you could have spent with your wife on the sofa of you luxury villa or, who knows, you could have taken part in some events organised by your sponsors to bank several thousand euros. I believe you, but allow me to give 10 good reasons for which I think the San Marino-Germany match was very useful and if only you could could think about it and let me know what you think. It served to show you that not even against the teams as poor as ours you can't score a goal - and don't say you weren't pissed when Simoncini stopped you scoring...
- It served to make it clear to your managers (and even at Beckenbauer and Rummenigge) that football is not owned by them but by of all those who love it, among which, like it or not, WE are included.
- It served to remind hundreds of journalists from all over Europe that there are still guys who follow their dreams and not your rules.
- It served to confirm that you Germans you will never change and that history has taught you that "bullying" is not always guarantee of victory.
- It served to show the 200 guys in San Marino who play the game for whatever reason why their coaches ask them to always work their hardest. Who knows - maybe one day all their sacrifice will not be repaid with a game against the champions of the world.
- It served to your Federation (and also to ours) to collect the money of image rights with which, in addition to paying you for your trouble, they can build pitches for the kids of your own country, schools, and make football stadiums safer... Our Federation, I'll let you in on a secret, is building a new football pitch in a remote village called Acquaviva. You could build it with six months of your salary, we'll do it with the rights of 90 minutes of game. Not bad right?
- It served to a country as big as your pitch in Munich to go in the paper for a good reason, because a football match is always a good reason.
- It served to your friend Gnabry to begin with, in the national team and scoring three goals.
- It made some Sanmarinese people a little happy to remember that we have a real national team.
- It's served to make me realise that even if you wear the most beautiful adidas kits, underneath you're always the ones that put white socks under their sandals.
With Love, your Alan.