Müller said he enjoyed the wide variety of demeanors in the tunnel. Some players stay light, he said, embracing a former teammate on the opposing team or chatting to pass the time. Others, however, are jarringly serious.
“Like Badstuber,” Müller said, referring to Holger Badstuber, his teammate with Germany and Bayern Munich. “He is the kind of guy where you make a joke to him and he looks at you and doesn’t laugh.”
Part of what makes the tunnel footage so compelling is the scenery. While some stadiums have a clean, nearly antiseptic runway to the stadium, many tunnels have distinctive characteristics. At the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid, for example, a sturdy metal screen separates the players and creates the impression of being in a cage (or, for the visiting team, perhaps a prison). Berlin’s Olympiastadion has an escalator to bring players down from the locker rooms, which are a level up. At Selhurst Park, in London, players have to come out single file because the tunnel is so narrow.
The strangest setup may be at Schalke’s Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Since the team is nicknamed the Miners, the club darkened the hallway used to enter the…