Germany 4 Portugal 0: Germany coach Joachim Low hails 'dangerous' Thomas Muller following 'magnificent' hat-trick

Muller is now up to eight World Cup goals after his treble

Thomas Muller has already got Germans dreaming of winning an elusive fourth World Cup after he stole Cristiano Ronaldo’s thunder with a hat-trick in yesterday’s Group G opening match against Portugal in Salvador.

Muller’s treble in the impressive 4-0 success continued the remarkable World Cup scoring rate of the Bayern Munich forward who had previously hit five goals at the 2010 finals to win the Golden Shoe, yet he declared afterwards that he was more interested in the ultimate prize. “We are here to be world champions and not to break records,” he said.

Germany have gone 18 years without a major trophy and Muller’s ambitious statement echoed the headline in yesterday morning’s Kicker magazine which had quoted the same player as saying ”We’re here to do something big”. His subsequent performance in front of watching German Chancellor Angela Merkel suggested a determination to live up to those words.

Muller is a popular figure in Germany – known for his sense of humour and straight talking – but it was his football qualities that coach Joachim Low praised as the dust settled at the Arena Fonte Nova yesterday. Low hailed not just the 24-year-old’s goalscoring ability but also his selfless and intelligent running after he shone on his 50th appearance in a position he seldom fills for Bayern. “Thomas Muller with his magnificent performance ran around a lot and created a lot of pressure,” said Low.

“He is a very unorthodox player and you can't really predict his lines of running, but he has one aim and that is: 'How can I score a goal?' That makes him so dangerous, especially in the box.”

Low’s own tactical approach warranted praise. His attacking choices had the desired impact – Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil was one of two wide forwards playing off Muller – and so too his decision to field central defenders Jerome Boateng and Benedikt Howedes in the full-back positions. “Boateng was outstanding against [Cristiano] Ronaldo,“ said Low.

Ronaldo, far from his sharpest after his recent injury, found himself a helpless observer as Germany built up a 3-0 half-time lead against opponents reduced to ten men by Pepe’s 37th-minute red card.

Low even praised his team’s efficiency – words to make those with memories of past German triumphs shudder. “We made four goals out of five or six opportunities,” he noted. The end result was Germany won their opening World Cup match for the seventh tournament running.

Meanwhile, Portugal coach Paulo Bento may face disciplinary action by FIFA after suggesting that Serbian referee Milorad Mazic was biased against the Portuguese. “There were some things where there seemed to be some bias toward Germany, I am talking about Pepe being sent off and the penalty [awarded for Muller’s 12-minute opener].”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory