The Bayern Munich and Germany forward suggested after a recent 8-0 victory in World Cup qualifying that facing the European minnows is a pointless exercise
San Marino have accused Thomas Muller of “bullying” after he questioned the value of international meetings with the European minnows on the back of an 8-0 victory for Germany in World Cup qualifying.
The Bayern Munich forward was not on target against the microstate on Friday, with hat-trick hero Serge Gnabry stealing the headlines on his senior debut, but he still felt that the contest was something of a pointless exercise.
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He said: “I don’t understand the point of such uneven games like these, even moreso because of the crowded fixture list.
“I understand that for them it is special to play against the world champions, I understand also that they can only defend with tough tackling.
“For this reason, though, I wonder if these are not games which bring unnecessary risks.”
Bayern Munich CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: “San Marino has got nothing to do with professional football.”
San Marino, quite understandably, have been left disappointed by the comments of global superstars and World Cup winners.
Director of communications, Alan Gasperoni, has hit back at Muller and Rummenigge, calling for an apology and criticising the arrogance and dress sense of a nation that appears to think it “owns” football.
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He posted the following statement on social media:
“Dearest Thomas Muller,
You’re right. The games like that on a Friday night, they’re nothing. To you. On the other hand, dear Thomas, you do not need to come to San Marino for almost nothing in a weekend in which, without the Bundesliga, you could have spent with your wife on the sofa of your luxury villa or, who knows, you could have taken part in some events organised by your sponsors to bank several thousand euros. I believe you, but allow me to give 10 good reasons why I think the San Marino-Germany match was very useful and if could think about them, let me know your thoughts:
1. It served to show you that not even against the teams as poor as ours can you score a goal – and don’t say you weren’t annoyed when Simoncini stopped you scoring…
2. It served to make it clear to your managers (and even Beckenbauer and Rummenigge) that football is not owned by them but by all of those who love it, among which, like it or not, WE are included.
3. It served to remind hundreds of journalists from all over Europe that there are still guys who follow their dreams and not your rules.
4. It served to confirm that you Germans will never change and that history has taught you that “bullying” is not always a guarantee of victory.
5. It served to show the 200 guys in San Marino who play the game for whatever reason why their coaches ask them to always work their hardest. Who knows – maybe one day all their sacrifice will be repaid with a game against the champions of the world.
6. It allowed your Federation (and also ours) to collect the money of image rights with which, in addition to paying you for your trouble, they can build pitches for the kids of your own country, schools, and make football stadiums safer… Our Federation, I’ll let you in on a secret, is building a new football pitch in a remote village called Acquaviva. You could build it with six months of your salary, we’ll do it with the rights of 90 minutes of a game. Not bad, right?
7. It served to a country as big as your pitch in Munich to go into the papers for a good reason, because a football match is always a good reason.
8. It served well for your friend Gnabry, in the national team and scoring three goals.
9. It made some Sanmarinese people a little happier to remember that we have a real national team.
10. It’s served to make me realise that even if you wear the most beautiful adidas kits, underneath you’re always the ones that put white socks under their sandals.
With love, Alan.”