Thomas Muller is adamant that Pep Guardiola has built on the legacy of Jupp Heynckes’ treble-winning Bayern Munich side of 2012-13.
Bayern beat all comers to clinch an unprecedented treble of the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and UEFA Champions League under the stewardship of Heynckes.
Since then, Bayern have continued to dominate domestically under Guardiola and they won the Bundesliga at a canter by 10 points this term.
However, success in Europe has not followed, with Bayern falling at the Champions League semi-final stages to Real Madrid and Barcelona, leading some pundits to suggest that the club has not progressed since Heynckes departed.
But Germany forward Muller, who scored 13 league goals this term, insists the team have continued to improve under Guardiola.
“[Heynckes and Guardiola] developed me so much, they have moulded me as a player. Heynckes played me a lot, and he was a striker himself, so he had good advice for me about goalscoring. And how can you not learn under Pep Guardiola?” Muller told Squawka.
“The team [Heynckes] put together that won the Champions League, as well as the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal, is one of the best Bayern sides ever. He is so driven, so ambitious and so smart. When he left, whoever followed him was going to have to be very confident in themselves, because how can you top a treble like that?
“Only someone like Pep Guardiola could live up to that, and I think he has done, and he will continue to do. We all know what a great coach he is, the style he likes to play.”
Muller also reserved special praise for Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, who he credits for helping him become a global star during his time as head coach at the Allianz Arena.
“Van Gaal also had a huge effect on my development,” he added. “I am very grateful to him – he gave me great help and leadership, and he saw something in me as a forward where some others didn’t.”