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Mueller eyes prize, but would prefer World Cup

Sports Desk |
Update: 2010-07-08 22:42:52
Mueller eyes prize, but would prefer World Cup

ERASMIA: Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller is the favourite to be voted the best young player at South Africa 2010 - but has admitted winning the World Cup would have been a better prize.


The 20-year-old has been short-listed by a FIFA committee for the award - won by team-mate Lukas Podolski four years ago - along with Mexico`s Giovani Dos Santos and Ghana`s Andre Ayew.


After Germany were beaten 1-0 by Spain in Wednesday`s semi-final, Mueller says his side must now win Saturday`s third place play-off against Uruguay in Port Elizabeth to finish their World Cup on a high.


"I am delighted to be on that list, but winning the World Cup would have been a nicer reward," said the Bayern Munich midfielder.


"I think we need a win to leave South Africa on a high."


Having scored four goals so far at South Africa 2010 - including two against England in the round of 16 and a header against Argentine in the quarter-final - Mueller has become a household name during this World Cup.


He was suspended for the defeat to Spain and his presence was missed in Germany`s midfield.


Mueller only broke into Bayern Munich`s first team at the start of the season and won his first cap in March before taking the World Cup by storm as part of a Germany side playing free-flowing football.


His Bayern team-mates Arjen Robben and Mark van Bommel will both be part of the Netherlands team to face Spain in Sunday`s World Cup final and Mueller says he hopes the Oranje lifts the title.


"The Dutch have been playing well, they qualified early for the final, I am surprised they haven`t played with the some flair they showed at Euro 2008, but you underestimate the Dutch at your peril," he said.


"I haven`t really spoken or texted (Robben or van Bommel) since the semi-finals, but I know it is their dream.


"It would be great if they won the World Cup, because my club team would field world champions."


BDST: 1957hrs, July 9, 2010

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