MUNICH: Thomas Mueller`s future at Bayern Munich has been the subject of speculation since the start of the year but he responded in typical style in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Mueller`s two goals in the 7-0 demolition of Shakhtar Donetsk in the last-16 second leg on Wednesday that sent Bayern into the quarter-finals will surely end such talk.
The 25-year-old`s lacklustre recent performances since had raised eyebrows and the substitution of defender Dante after 32 minutes in the 3-1 win at Hanover 96 was seen as a warning that no Bayern player was assured a starting spot.
But Mueller, who needed four league games this year to open his scoring account, also struck twice against Hanover.
The versatile attacking midfielder and World Cup winner converted a fourth-minute penalty on Wednesday and grabbed another to take his Champions League tally to 26 and equal Mario Gomez as Germany`s most prolific scorer in the competition.
It was also his fourth successful penalty out of four in Europe this season.
"I always try to expect where the keeper will go. It is a bit of training because I take a lot of penalties to be prepared," Mueller told reporters.
"The pulse goes up a bit even if it has worked a few times before. It was probably the most pressure I felt during the game."
Equally noteworthy is the fact that Muller scored his 25th Champions League goal aged 112 days younger than Cristiano Ronaldo was when the current European top scorer netted his 25th goal in the competition.
"I want to break the (German) record because I want to score more goals in the competition, We want to go further in the Champions League," Mueller said.
"Then Mario can try and take the record back."