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Thomas Müller: Botched free kick was set play

Germany's Thomas Müller admits that his bizarre stumble while running towards the ball for a free kick late in the World Cup last 16 match against Algeria was a ploy.

'It looks like crap when it doesn't work'

Thomas Muller says pretending to trip while taking a free kick is a set play the Germans have been working on.

Germany's Thomas Müller admitted that his bizarre stumble while running towards the ball for a free kick late in the World Cup last 16 match against Algeria was a ploy.

"Is this interview going to be broadcast worldwide or only in Germany?" Müller asked a German television reporter who wanted to know if the Bayern Munich player had deliberately tripped.

When told that the interview would only be broadcast in Germany, Müller smiled and said: "It almost worked."

Asked if he planned to try the trick again, Müller said: "We'll see what happens in the next match."

With the scores level at 0-0, Germany was awarded a free kick in the 88th minute in a promising position about 25 metres directly in front of Algeria's goal.

Müller huddled with teammates Toni Kroos, Mesut Ozil and Bastian Schweinsteiger who ran towards the ball but stepped over it. Müller was next to fake a kick but fell to his knees two steps before the ball.

He quickly got up and ran towards the wall as Kroos attempted to lob the ball to him but the pass was blocked by the defenders.

"We'd practiced that," Kroos told German media. "In training it always worked. But it looks like crap when it doesn't work." 

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