Mueller could gatecrash South American goal fiesta
2014 Golden Boot winner could gatecrash Neymar and Messi's South American fiesta with his goalscoring exploits
Four years after being mistaken for a ballboy by Diego Maradona, Germany's Thomas Mueller insists he would rather be a World Cup winner than claim another Golden Boot award.
Algeria stand in Germany's path for Tuesday's (Singapore time) Round-of-16 clash in Porto Alegre, before a possible quarter-final at Rio de Janeiro's Maracana Stadium against France or Nigeria.
"We have big plans, with our team spirit and a bit of luck, we can go far," said Mueller after Germany finished top of Group G.
With nine World Cup goals in nine matches to his credit, the baby-faced 24-year-old has come far since Maradona's blunder in a 2010 press conference in Munich.
Mueller had the last laugh a few months later with the opening goal as Germany destroyed a Maradona-coached Argentina 4-0 in the World Cup quarter-finals in South Africa.
The Bayern Munich star finished the 2010 World Cup as the Golden Boot winner with five goals, plus three assists, and also picked up the Best Young Player award.
Four years later, he is on course to retain the Golden Boot with four goals in Brazil leaving a no-longer ignorant Maradona to hail the form of "El Flaco" - the Skinny One.
The attacking midfielder's tally includes the winning goal in yesterday's 1-0 victory over the United States, plus a hat-trick in the 4-0 rout of Portugal.
Mueller tops the list for the 2014 Golden Boot - along with Brazil's Neymar and Argentina's Lionel Messi, who also have four goals each. He also provided the assist for Mario Goetze in the 2-2 draw with Ghana.
Just do not call him Germany's Maradona.
"Please, no," was Mueller's reply to reporters' suggestions as his ninth goal put him one ahead of the Argentinian's eight in the list of all-time goal-scorers at World Cup Finals.
Despite his thunder-bolt of a shot against the Stars and Stripes, Mueller would swop any personal awards for the chance to see Germany claim a fourth World Cup.
"I actually managed to score a nice goal for once, it was good to hit one off the front of my foot," he said after his winner against Juergen Klinsmann's US.
"The goal record doesn't interest me at the moment, I have already got one Golden Boot.
"I want to be a world champion, that's something I haven't won yet."
Mueller, with his slight build and happy-go-lucky demeanour, has potentially another two World Cup finals ahead of him.
He could well eventually eclipse teammate Miroslav Klose and Brazil legend Ronaldo's joint record of 15 World Cup goals, but says he does not care who scores for Germany at Porto Alegre's Beira-Rio Stadium on Tuesday.
Klose could become the sole top-scorer at World Cup finals with a 16th goal after equalling Ronaldo's mark in the Ghana draw.
"He runs a lot and has played very well, I hope he scores lots of goals for us and takes the Golden Boot home," Mueller said of Klose, the 2006 World Cup's Golden Boot winner.
5: Mueller's incredible 2010 World Cup campaign saw him score five goals from just five shots on target. In this tournament, four out of the five shots he got on target ended in the back of the net.