Thomas Mueller wasn't born until seven years after West Germany's "Disgrace of Gijon" at the 1982 World Cup and he made it clear on Tuesday that the infamous "non-aggression pact" match against Austria is ancient history for him.
"How do you pronounce that word, Chi-con?, Gich-on? Gigon?" the 24-year-old midfielder said with an impish grin when asked about the match in the Spanish city of Gijon where West Germany and Austria appeared to collude for a result that helped both advance. "I know what that's all about from reading the newspapers," Mueller said with a smile and shrug that suggested it would be completely alien for him and his team mates to even consider the idea of playing for a convenient result again.
It is a hot topic at the moment at the World Cup because Germany and the United States, coached by German Juergen Klinsmann, are playing each other on Thursday and would both advance if their match ends in a draw. "But anyone who knows me, especially after the Ghana match, and looks at me can see that there is no way on earth we'd play for a draw," added Mueller, who scored three goals in Germany's 4-0 opening win against Portugal and has 21 goals with 50 caps. "I hope that the case is closed now," said Mueller.
That 1982 game - a 1-0 win for what was then West Germany - was enough to send both them and Austria through at the expense of an entertaining Algeria. Germany's early goal was followed by a soulless kick-about, neither team wanting to score, leaving Algeria, who had stunned Germany 2-1 out of the tournament.
NOT CHASING GOLDEN BOOT
Mueller, who has scored eight World Cup goals for Germany in eight appearances, said his aim is to win the tournament and that he is not especially interested in winning the Golden Boot for most goals scored - which he took in 2010 with five goals. "It's not my goal to win be the tournament's top goal-scorer - I want to win the World Cup," said Mueller, before adding with a smile: "I won the Golden Boot four years ago, so what would I do with a second one."
Mueller also was the 2010 Young Player of the Tournament. Mueller has three goals in two matches in Brazil for Germany and trails Brazilian Neymar, who has four goals in three matches. "There's a far more important title that I don't have yet. If I get a goal or two on the way there (to winning the World Cup), I'm sure that's good for the team. But I'm totally relaxed about that. The important thing is that we keep advancing."
Mueller said he was feeling fine after getting five stitches on Saturday to close a gaping wound above his right eyebrow suffered at the end of the Ghana match. "It actually wasn't so bad," he said. "It's more a question now about how I'll look. I know it looked pretty bad because there was so much blood and it was everywhere." (Editing by Keith Weir)