Ahead of the MLS All-Stars facing Bayern Munich on Wednesday, New York Red Bulls captain Thierry Henry says that opposition forward Thomas Muller is the perfect role model for modern football.
A regular for club and country over the past four years, Muller first burst onto the international scene with five goals for Germany at the 2010 World Cup, before another five in Brazil this summer helped his side lift the trophy for the first time since 1990.
Also coming off a second consecutive 13-goal Bundesliga season, in which Bayern claimed a domestic double to add to their 2012-13 treble-winning campaign, Henry believes that the 56-times capped international doesn’t receive nearly enough plaudits for his displays and has urged youngsters to model their game after him.
‘It’s funny how people nowadays don’t look at the game like they should do,’ he said at Monday’s press conference for the midweek clash.
‘They want the guy who does stepovers, tricks and stuff like that. That’s not the game. The game is what Thomas Muller is doing. That’s the game for me.'
‘If I had a son right now, I’d say look at Muller, because what Ronaldo does and what Messi does, they’re just freaks. You can’t copy that, but you can copy Thomas Muller.'
‘If anyone else had the record he had at the World Cup, people would be talking about like they should be talking about it,’ he added on the 24-year-old.
‘He plays the game the right way. He defends, he attacks, he controls the ball when he has to control it, he reverses when he has to reverse. When he has to finish, he’ll finish it. Yes, he doesn’t do stepovers but, when he has to perform, he performs. I’ve always liked him since I first saw.'
‘He’s always been performing but now, with Pep, he’s gone to another level. He does what the game asks him to do.’
Set to play in his fourth consecutive All-Star game, Henry will now get the chance to line up against Muller in Portland on Wednesday night, as he bids to lead the best of MLS to an upset win over Pep Guardiola’s German giants.