Madrid: Bayern Munich forward Thomas Mueller was unhappy at being left out of the starting XI for Wednesday’s Champions League semi-final with Atletico Madrid but said he was willing to do what is important for the team.
Bayern Munich’s Thomas Mueller
Coach Pep Guardiola dropped Muller to the bench for the first leg at the Vicente Calderon, which Atletico won 1-0 thanks to a fine individual goal by Saul..
Mueller said: "I try to cope with it professionally. It does not make you happy, but it’s important to realise what is important for the team.
"If everyone who sits on the bench just flips, we can forget about the season."
Asked after the game, Guardiola justified his team selection, saying: "I wanted a left-footed player on the left and a right-footed player on the right and to have an extra midfielder."
Ribery and Mueller were introduced as second-half substitutes, replacing Kingsley Coman and Thiago Alcantara, but they were unable to alter the outcome of the match.
"There may be another choice in the next match," said Guardiola, with Bayern set to host Atletico at the Allianz Arena in the return leg on Tuesday.
Guardiola was criticised for Mueller’s omission by sections of the German media, with former Bayern boss Ottmar Hitzfeld telling Sky: "Mueller for Bayern is what [Lionel] Messi is for Barcelona. It’s nearly impossible to replace them in the all-important matches."