Euro 2016: Thomas Mueller will score for us, says Germany coach Joachim Loew
Evian: He is the big-name forward yet to score at Euro 2016, but Thomas Mueller says his main concern is helping Germany beat France in tonight's Euro 2016 semi-final.
German coach Joachim Loew (left) speaks to striker Thomas Mueller during a training session at Evian-les-Bains in South-East France on the eve of tonight's Euro 2016 semi-final against France yesterday. Pics/Getty Images, AFP
Mueller, top scorer at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and with 32 goals for Bayern Munich last season, has yet to open his account at the European Championship finals.
The self-confident forward says his sole concern is helping Germany win in Marseille in their bid to add the European crown to their 2014 World Cup title.
Mueller said Germany are at the contest as world champions "and the chance to win two titles back-to-back is not something you get everyday."
'I've had few chances'
"Reaching that goal is what drives me on. I haven't had that many chances here and the ones I have missed were by a matter of centimetres. I'm not driving myself crazy about it.
France's (L to R) Bacary Sagna, Patrice Evra, Paul Pogba and Moussa Sissoko train near central France on Tuesday
Scoring goals isn't the fuel which drives me, it's just the varnish which makes the car look good. I was the top-scorer in South Africa and we went out in the semi-finals.
I haven't changed anything and I'm not bothered. Sure, a goal would calm me down, as it would mean I wouldn't have to answer any more questions about it," he told reporters in Evian with a grin.
Mueller has the support of Germany's management as they prepare to face the French.
"If we need a goal, then Mueller will score one for us," head coach Joachim Loew said on Monday.
Team manager Oliver Bierhoff said it was just a matter of time. "Thomas Mueller is just keeping his powder dry. Then he'll explode," said the former striker.
The mood in the German camp is of confidence, despite considerable personnel problems. Mats Hummels is suspended, Sami Khedira and Mario Gomez are out injured, while captain Bastian Schweinsteiger is struggling with a knee strain.
Nevertheless, Mueller is relishing facing the hosts in the semis, just as Germany did at the 2014 World Cup when they romped to a 7-1 win over Brazil.
"It's a lot of fun (to play games like this), France are a bit under pressure as hosts. We're meeting them in the semi-finals, there aren't much better games than this.
Germany vs France head-to-head
Matches played 27
Germany won 9
France won 12
Did you know?
France have not beaten Germany in a tournament since their 6-3 win in the World Cup way back in 1958. The two teams met just thrice in tournaments thereafter. But of their 17 friendly encounters since, France have won 8 friendlies, Germany have won 5 and four have been draws
> Adjudged best Young Player at 2010 FIFA World Cup
> Won Golden Boot for scoring 5 goals at 2012 2010 FIFA World Cup
> Scored 3 goals at Euro 2012
> Scored first hat-trick of 2014 FIFA World Cup, in 4-0 win over Portugal
> Won Silver Boot at 2014 FIFA World Cup as second-highest scorer with 5 goals
> Scored 32 goals for Bayern Munich last season