Ger­many’s Mueller sur­prised by San Marino row

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Thomas Mueller ad­mits hav­ing been sur­prised by ac­cu­sa­tions of ar­ro­gance and dis­re­spect for say­ing Ger­many’s 8-0 rout of min­nows San Marino had “noth­ing to do with pro­fes­sional sport”.

On Sun­day, Alan Gasper­oni, the San Marino Na­tional Olympic Com­mi­tee’s press of­fi­cer, posted an open let­ter to Mueller on Face­book, list­ing 10 rea­sons Ger­many’s trip to the min­nows for a 2018 World Cup qual­i­fier was use­ful.

Mueller said he was taken aback by Gasper­oni’s an­gry rant, which poked fun at the cliched Ger­man habit of wear­ing white socks with san­dals and ac­cused the Ger­mans of think­ing they could win by “bul­ly­ing” San Marino.

Hav­ing cap­tained Ger­many in Tues­day’s goal­less draw with Italy in Milan, Mueller said he had meant no dis­re­spect.

“I was a bit sur­prised, be­cause I hadn’t meant that at all,” Mueller told Ger­man broad­caster ARD.

“I had been asked a few ques­tions, which I had an­swered hon­estly and se­ri­ously, and had tried to look at both sides.

“The reader of­ten reads only the head­line and then makes an im­pres­sion, which I had once again un­der­es­ti­mated.”

Last Fri­day’s 8-0 drub­bing in heavy rain kept Ger­many top of their 2018 World Cup qual­i­fy­ing group with a per­fect record of four wins while San Marino, ranked 199 places be­low the Ger­mans by FIFA, re­main bot­tom.

When asked about the value of such in­ter­na­tional miss-matches, Mueller ad­mit­ted the ques­tion was “hard to an­swer”, adding “ro­man­tics say such games have their place”.

Mueller says his “noth­ing to do with pro­fes­sional foot­ball” comment was taken out of con­text. “My state­ment in the in­ter­view after the match on Fri­day re­lated to the ques­tion of the sport­ing value of the game in San Marino in re­la­tion to the risk of in­jury,” Mueller wrote on his Face­book page on Tues­day.

“It was taken out of con­text by some me­dia, which seems to have given some peo­ple the wrong im­pres­sion, in­flu­enced by a some­times hu­mor­ous so­cial me­dia post by a for­mer of­fi­cial of the San Marino Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion.

“I want to clar­ify here that I replied in the an­swer re­spect­fully to il­lu­mi­nate both sides of the topic.” Mueller says he will not shy from speak­ing his mind. “I will con­tinue to ex­press my opin­ion in the fu­ture, even if I run the risk of get­ting a few flies buzzing around my ears,” added the 27year-old. The mat­ter could be put to bed over a beer.

Gasper­oni has apol­o­gised for pok­ing fun at Ger­mans in his rant and wants to meet Mueller when San Marino play the re­turn qual­i­fier in Nurem­berg next June. “I am sure ev­ery­thing will be set­tled with a hand shake and when we are in Ger­many, we could go for a beer to­gether,” added Gasper­oni.

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