The importance for Schweinsteiger’s and Lahm’s standing in Germany cannot be overestimated. For years, members of Bayern’s 2001 Champions League‑winning side such as Stefan Effenberg and Oliver Kahn sniped at them from the sidelines. For many of the country’s football traditionalists, the two of them were not big and brash enough, and the lack of international trophies – with Bayern and Germany – was blamed on their perceived lack of leadership quality.
“Here are your Führungsspieler [leading players] who [you said] aren’t Führungsspieler”, Müller shouted defiantly at reporters in the mixed zone, when the two captains were passing through.
Thomas Müller everybody. Thomas Müller had a go at the reporters for our Captains. Thomas fucking Müller. I love you.