‘Great touch for a big man’
When the weight, direction, timing of the pass is designed it totality with the recipient in mind.
The pass is made completely selflessly, with the only concern being how will this improve the life of the next player.
You’ll see many people find a teammate in this game but when someone has pass appreciation, they’re not playing it solely to get themselves out of trouble. They’re not playing it to someone in a worse position. They’re not playing it without calculating first what is the absolute best way to play this pass – pace, angle, time.
Thomas Muller has pass appreciation.
Every ball he plays, he makes things easier for his team mates. He gives them the best position and the best delivery at the right time to do whatever it is they want to do in an ideal world. Muller is a creator of an ideal world and his touch in the Champions League final against Paris Saint Germain summed up the impact he has on everything around him, when he’s not scoring goals.
It was Kinglsey Coman who put away the only goal of the game as Bayern secured their sixth European Cup but it was Thomas Muller who knitted it together. If Coman painted the town red for the German juggernaut, Muller was the master architect who knew exactly what needed to go where at exactly every point.
So Gnabry played a key role, Joshua Kimmich floated a delicious ball onto Coman’s head and the Parisian ruthlessly killed off the Parisians, but none of it happens without Muller’s involvement and nobody else does what Muller did in that move.
Muller arrives late and gives Gnabry a clear path to hit him with
With an important split second, he delays the pass, drawing more players to him, letting the ball come across his body and opening himself up to lock in with Kimmich.
He risks being clattered, or losing possession, but the reward is teeing Kimmich up.
With a deft, cushioned touch, the ball is presented to Kimmich, completely free and perfectly set.
Kimmich and Coman do the rest but the rest doesn’t come if Thomas Muller doesn’t have the sort of intelligence to see how that picture could unfold and, of course, it doesn’t happen if Muller doesn’t have that sort of level of execution.
Advantage Bayern! ?
Parisian born Kingsley Coman bags a goal against his former club…
— Football on BT Sport #Club2020 (@btsportfootball) August 23, 2020
After the game, Declan Rice tweeted saying Thomas Muller is one of the most underrated players of all time. There couldn’t be a soul in football who doesn’t appreciate what Thomas Muller has been doing for 12 years now as his goals and assists and architectural brilliance have inspired a World Cup, nine Bundesliga titles and now two Champions League trophies.
But, there also couldn’t be a soul in football who appreciates his teammates with every pass like Thomas Muller does.