Muller applauds Ronaldo achievement

For the last 32 years, Germany's Gerd 'Der Bomber' Muller has been the FIFA World Cup™'s all-time top scorer with 14 goals.

That record was broken on Tuesday, however, when Ronaldo struck his 15th goal on the world stage in Brazil's 3-0 victory over Ghana. caught up with Muller to ask him about Ronaldo's achievement and to hear his thoughts on the tournament in Germany and the home team's prospects.

Go to the Germany team page Herr Muller, Ronaldo has just scored his 15th FIFA World Cup goal, overtaking your record as the tournament's greatest goalscorer of all time. How do you feel?
Gerd Muller: Even before the tournament started, it was obvious that he would get at least two goals and draw level, if not three and set a new record. It wasn't a surprise.

You set your record with 14 goals scored over two FIFA World Cup tournaments.
I've always said that I wasn't the record-holder. That honour, for me, goes to Just Fontaine, who scored 13 goals in one tournament. He's the best in my book. Although Ronaldo is now in his third World Cup, this is nevertheless still a great achievement on his part. Playing at such a high level over such a long period of time, always managing to be fit at the right moment is unusual nowadays. In my opinion, he's the best, most complete attacker there is at the moment.

Before Germany 2006, Ronaldo came in for some criticism, a lot of it concerning his fitness levels and his weight. How does he look to you?
Brazil need Ronaldo, they haven't got anyone quicker than him up front. Ronaldo is still pacy. He wasn't on top of his game in the first two matches, but against Japan, he could have got about five goals.

There have been 56 matches so far at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. How have you been enjoying the tournament?
From a footballing point of view, I'm not totally satisfied – some of the games haven't quite come up to scratch. Among the more pleasant surprises, however, have been the way Germany have been playing, and also the general atmosphere, both inside and outside the stadiums. It's unbelievable just how enthusiastic all the fans are.

What has struck you most about how Germany are playing?
The defence has been amazing. In the pre-World Cup warm-up matches, that was the real cause for concern, but now the Mannschaft have gone three games without letting a goal in. It's true that the opposition weren't that strong, with Sweden being particularly disappointing in my opinion. Argentina will provide opposition of a different calibre – that'll be a really tough match. They've got five world-class strikers, so it doesn't matter who plays. It should be a great match.

And what do you think of Germany's new generation of forwards?
I like them. Miroslav Klose had a great season for Werder Bremen and has brought his good form into the World Cup. He's really improved as a player. Lukas Podolski's also doing a job, and that means that German have two dangerous attackers.