Football

Bringing up Tom

Proud Parents Klaudia and Gerhard Muller, parents of German footballer Thomas Muller Photo: Vipin Chandran   | Photo Credit: Vipin Chandran

Proud parents, that's what Klaudia and Gerhard Mueller are. For their son is Thomas Mueller, the German football hero, who won the Golden Boot at World Cup 2010 and was also declared the Best Young Player of the event. On a holiday to the State, the Muellers were surprised at the fan following their son has here. But then football and Kerala go a long way and Thomas Mueller is a much idolised youth icon in these parts.

A good kid

So what's it being parents to a sporting idol like Mueller? Klaudia remembers her son as a “very active boy” and “very sociable” too. Gerhard smiles as he recalls his thoughts, as a father, about his son's future. “When Thomas was in his teens and playing good football, I had reached a conclusion that he would earn his living from the game.” But what Gerhard did not imagine then was the enormity of his son's talent and of the distance that it would take his young boy. “I did not realise that he would earn so much and in such short time,” he added.

His childhood, his parents reveal, was regular. A good kid, a favourite of his teachers, Thomas, they say, was not troublesome. Good at his lessons and good at sport, he was a disciplined youngster.

Klaudia says that her son got his first football as a one-year-old. Like others kids it was a regular toy. But the football soon became his favourite and he began playing the game regularly in the verdant playfields of his village, Pahl, 50 kms from Munich. Coming up through Germany's Youth System, Thomas was selected by Bayern Munich and later for the national German team. Since then he has always been in the playing eleven.

Gerhard too plays football, “but at the opposite level of that of my son,” he says with a hearty laugh.

Simon, their younger son, also plays the game and hero worships his brother.

The World Cup had been a big event for them as much as it was for the village of Pahl. Friends, relatives, village folks had all gathered at the City Hall to watch their son, their own village lad, their mate, playing the popular game. And Thomas being there made it extra “special”

What a day it had been. Thomas had gone on to score two goals in the semifinals and Germany had won hands down at 4-1. Life for them has changed since, as is evident on this holiday trip, when complete strangers, once aware of their identity, come up and wish to know more about their son.

In the city as guests of Intersight Tours and Travels, the Muellers are familiar with Kerala because of their parish priest, (St Laurentius Parish) Fr. Saji Panamkallayil. He is accompanying them on their first visit to India. Gerhard works for BMW, while Klaudia is a finance manager of the church.

Sightseeing, enjoying the different culture, the Mullers carry with them autographed photos of Thomas and give it as precious souvenirs to the football crazy fans who are excited at meeting their icon Thomas Mueller's parents!

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 10:25:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/football/bringing-up-tom/article2343359.ece

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