Friday 30 January 2015

Hat-trick hero Thomas Müller: I hope red card incident didn't look stupid

Published 16/06/2014 | 22:46

Thomas Müller and his Germany team mates could hardly believe their eyes when they looked up at the scoreboard early in the first half and saw they were leading Portugal 2-0 in their World Cup opening match on Monday.

The Germany striker had scored the first of his three goals in the 4-0 rout of the team they feared most in Group G and he was soon involved in an incident that all but ended Portugal's hopes of a comeback.

"We looked up and thought 'Hoopla'!" Müller told Germany's ARD television.

"There was still a long match ahead of us and it was really hot in the sun."

Things got even hotter for Mueller a quarter hour later when he got entangled in an incident with Portugal defender Pepe that led to the World Cup's third red card.

Müller said he felt Pepe's fist strike his head as both players tried to head a ball and the big German went crashing to the ground.

Portugal's Pepe argues with Germany's Thomas Mueller (R) during their 2014 World Cup Group G soccer match at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador, June 16, 2014. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez (BRAZIL  - Tags: SOCCER SPORT WORLD CUP TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)      TOPCUP
Portugal's Pepe argues with Germany's Thomas Mueller (R) before being red-carded
Mats Hummels of Germany celebrates scoring his team's second goal
Germany's Thomas Mueller celebrates with Mario Goetze and Sami Khedira (R) after scoring his penalty
Joao Moutinho (L) and Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal (R) react toward referee Milorad Mazic
Pepe of Portugal looks on after receiving a red card and being sent off the field during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Rui Patricio of Portugal reacts as Pepe is shown a red card and sent off by referee Milorad Mazic
Mats Hummels of Germany celebrates scoring his team's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Pepe of Portugal headbutts Thomas Mueller of Germany resulting in a red card
Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates his team's third goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Pepe of Portugal fouls Thomas Mueller of Germany during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Thomas Mueller of Germany (2nd R) celebrates with teammates Sami Khedira (2nd L) and Mario Goetze (R) after scoring his team's third goal
Mats Hummels of Germany celebrates scoring his team's second goal
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal reacts during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Thomas Mueller of Germany shoots and scores his team's fourth goal and completes his hat trick past Rui Patricio
Thomas Mueller of Germany celebrates the third goal with his teammates during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Fabio Coentrao of Portugal is stretchered off the field after an injury during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
An injured Mats Hummels of Germany is helped off the field during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal controls the ball during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Thomas Mueller of Germany reacts after a headbutt by Pepe of Portugal resulting in a red card for Pepe as Rui Patricio looks on during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal
Thomas Mueller of Germany reacts after a headbutt by Pepe of Portugal resulting in a red card for Pepe during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match between Germany and Portugal

Pepe, angry at what he thought was Müller's exaggerated fall, went over to Müller on the ground and pushed his head into the German's.

Müller jumped on his feet and the two shouted at each other for a tense moment before being separated. Pepe was sent off.

"I'd like to see it in TV," Müller said.

"I only hope that I looked okay. I felt a blow from his fist. But what happened after that I can't really remember, whether we were head-to-head or not. I just hope it didn't look stupid on TV.

"I didn't want to cheat," Müller added. "I don't know for sure how I got out of there."

Müller , who won the Golden Boot of the 2010 World Cup with five goals in six appearances, said he had not been looking for a clash with Pepe but was not about to back down against the defender either.

"I've experienced a number of things in international football matches over the last four years and I'm not the kind of guy who gets easily scared," said the 24-year-old Müller .

The Bayern Munich striker, who has now scored 20 goals for Germany in 50 matches, said he and his team mates had a great time running up the score against Portugal and even lamented the fact they wasted several good chances in the first half.

"We had some good counter-attacks as well and could have even scored more if we took advantage of our chances," he said.

"It was great. Each goal that went in seemed to be better than the one before it."

Here are Muller's three goals:

 

 

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