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Ghost player for the ghost game: Thomas Müller is perfect for the pandemic | Jonathan Liew

Bayern Munich returned on Sunday and so did the forward for whom spatial distancing is his entire job

The silence, really, is only a problem if you want it to be a problem. We football fans are an adaptable bunch. What at first feels disconcertingly novel soon becomes part of the furniture. We survived animated advertising hoardings. We survived Saturday 12.30pm kick-offs. We survived club mascots taking part in the minute’s silence. We’ll get through this too.

Perhaps, conversely, it helps to see the silence as an opportunity. As live Bundesliga football returned to our screens over the weekend amid empty stadiums and eerie hush, it was only natural to wonder how the aural void could be filled. Canned crowd noise feels a bit North Korea: Behold, Our Glorious Footballers Undertaking Athletic Endeavours For The Edification Of A Grateful Nation! If it has to be a crowd, might as well make it a real one: simply assemble the home club’s millions of fans on one giant Zoom call, and pipe in the real-time mayhem.

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