FourFourTwo’s Best 100 Football Players in the World 2016: No.11 – Thomas Muller

In football, creating a whole that exceeds the sum of its parts is generally a task for managers rather than players. Thomas Muller, though, is a footballer who seems to have elevated that ability into an art form. In terms of eye-catching attacking attributes, Muller possesses practically none – he’s not especially quick, tall or strong, rarely shoots from long range, and isn't a distinguished dribbler – and yet he’s one of the most effective and high-pedigree forwards on the planet.

Equally impressive is that he hasn’t overcome those limitations through the traditional route of dutiful industry (although there's plenty of that), but instead with a lightning-quick brain. His self-appointed nickname of the Raumdeuter – the Space Interpreter – has become famous not just because of its originality but also because it perfectly captures the skill that has fired Muller to global eminence.

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