Gerd Müller, dubbed “the greatest striker in history,” died at the age of 75.
MUNICH, Germany (AP) — Gerd Müller, a former West German soccer star who was nicknamed as “Der Bomber” for his goal-scoring ability, has died. He was 75 years old at the time.
On Sunday, the Bavarian club confirmed his death, calling it a “sad, gloomy day for FC Bayern and all its supporters,” according to club president Herbert Hainer.
Müller scored 566 goals for Bayern Munich between 1964 and 1979, helping the club win four German championships, four German Cups, and three European Cups. With 365 goals in 427 league games, he still maintains the record for most goals scored in the Bundesliga.
Müller’s goals, which he scored in a variety of methods, helped Bayern gain promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965
and begin an era of excellence at the club that set the groundwork for its current success.
In a statement released on the club’s website, Hainer stated, “Gerd Müller was the best striker there has ever been, and a wonderful person and character of global football.” “We are all in profound sorrow alongside his wife, Uschi, and his family.”
Rudi Völler, a former West German striker, called it a “sad day for soccer.” Gerd’s performances will be remembered for a long time.”
Outside of Germany, there were other tributes.
Pep Guardiola, Manchester City’s coach, called him “the greatest striker in history” on Twitter.
Gary Lineker, a former England forward, said he “loved watching him as a kid and learned so much from him.” I’ve never seen a penalty box goal scorer like him.”
Müller has Alzheimer’s disease for “a long time,” Bayern revealed in October 2015, and had been professionally cared for with the assistance of his family since February of that year.
Müller appeared in 607 games for Bayern Munich. On seven times, he was the league’s leading scorer. He was able to score goals as significant as previous colleagues Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeneß in Bayern’s rise to become Germany’s superpower.
Müller’s record of 40 goals in the 1971-72 Bundesliga season was only surpassed last season
when current Bayern Munich striker Robert Lewandowski scored his 41st goal in the last minute of the game.
Müller also played a key role in West Germany’s victories in the European Championship in 1972 and the World Cup two years later, scoring the game-winning goal against the Netherlands in the final.
Rainer Bonhof recalls assisting Müller on Müller’s game-winning goal in Munich.
“I hit the ball so hard from the right that it bounced backwards off his foot. Then he scored a 2-1 goal by firing the ball between the legs of a Dutch player. Bonhof told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper on Monday that he was the only one who could accomplish it.
Müller made 62 games for West Germany and scored 68 goals. Only Miroslav Klose, who required 129 outings to equal him in 2014, has more national appearances.
“He was the all-time greatest German forward. FC Bayern and the German team would not have been able to achieve such success without him,” said Bavarian state president Markus Söder. ”I was a huge fan myself. The whole state of Bavaria is in mourning.”
Bayern Munich’s main opponent, Borussia Dortmund, also paid his respects.
Hans-Joachim Watzke stated, “Gerd Müller was one of my greatest heroes in my infancy and adolescence.”
“I had the wonderful privilege of getting to know him as a really modest and nice person. He was a fantastic player who owes so much to FC Bayern and the German national team.”
After his playing days, Müller became a youth coach at Bayern Munich, where he worked with youngsters like Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Thomas Müller.
Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn said in the club statement, “His accomplishments remain unmatched to this day and will long be a part of the glorious legacy of FC Bayern and all of German football.” “As a player and a person, Gerd Müller epitomizes FC Bayern’s transformation into one of the world’s most prestigious teams. Gerd will live on in our hearts forever.”
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