Football

Goalless Mueller unfazed by barren spell

But Mueller is unfazed by goal drought, as long as Germany win

He is a big-name forward who has yet to score at Euro 2016, but Thomas Mueller says his main concern is helping Germany beat France in tomorrow morning's (Singapore time) semi-final.

Mueller, top scorer at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa who also bagged 32 goals for Bayern Munich last season, has yet to open his account at the European Championship Finals.

But the confident attacker says his sole concern is helping Germany win in Marseille and maintain their bid to add the European crown to their 2014 World Cup title.

Mueller said Germany enter the contest as world champions "and the chance to win two titles back-to-back is not something you get everyday".

"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," said the 26-year-old.

"I'm not driving myself crazy about it.

"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."

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.

Team manager Oliver Bierhoff added that it is just a matter of time before the Germany's star forward breaks his duck.

"Mueller is just keeping his powder dry. Then he'll explode," said the former striker with a smile yesterday.

Mueller insists Germany are "not scared" of France and dismissed their five-goal haul in the 5-2 quarter-final win as partially a product of poor defending by Iceland.

He said: "We are not scared of them. We've seen the videos and we know that France have got many good individuals.

"The goals they scored against Iceland were individually very nice, but the Iceland defence didn't look too good.

"We are focused on not letting their strikers get near our box.

"France didn't reach the semi-finals just by luck. They did because they have good players. We have respect, but we're optimistic that we will find the right solutions."

CONFIDENT

The mood in the German camp is confident, 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 despite returning to training yesterday.

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.

He said: "It's a lot of fun (to play games like this), France are under a bit of pressure as the hosts."

"We're meeting them in the semi-finals, there aren't many better games than this. It's good for us again, but I'm not saying we'll win 7-1, mind you." - Wire Services.


BY THE NUMBERS

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clean sheets

France have never kept a clean sheet in their four meetings with Germany at major tournaments.

sportsFootballEuro 2016FranceGermanyThomas Mueller