The Germany international and Bayern Munich legend Gerd Muller died at the age of 75 on 15th August 2021.
The forward, nicknamed Der Bomber der Nation – the Bomber of the Nation – scored an astonishing 68 goals in 62 games for Germany, and 566 goals in 607 competitive matches for Bayern Munich. He was Germany’s top scorer until Miroslav Klose surpassed his total in 2014. Muller scored the winning goal when West Germany won the world cup in 1974 against Holland. He also scored the winning goal when West Germany came back from 2-0 down against England in the quarter-final of the World Cup in León, Mexico in 1970. In that same year, he won the Ballon d’Or.
“Today is a sad, black day for FC Bayern and all of its fans. Gerd Muller was the greatest striker there has ever been – and a fine person, a personality in world football,” Bayern President Herbert Hainer said in a statement.
“We are united in deep sorrow with his wife Uschi and his family. Without Gerd Muller, FC Bayern would not be the club we all love today. His name and the memory of him will live on forever.”
Muller was born in Nordlingen, Bavaria, on November 3, 1945. He did not play football at the club level until he was 12 when he joined his hometown side. Muller moved to Bayern in July 1964 and played a key role in their promotion to the Bundesliga the following year, scoring 39 goals in the 1964-65 season. He scored 15 goals in 33 games in his first year in the German top-flight – his worst career return. Muller went on to become the league’s top scorer in seven of the next 14 seasons.
He had scored 365 goals in 427 games for Bayern when he left Germany for American club Fort Lauderdale Strikers in 1979. The only other Bundesliga player to come close to that tally is Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, who is on 278 goals in 351 games.
Muller scored 14 goals at two World Cups and, in 1972, hit 85 goals in only 60 matches for club and country. That remained a world record until Lionel Messi struck 91 times in 69 matches in 2012. After surpassing Gerd Muller’s record, Messi sent him a signed shirt. Muller gave it to Bayern Munich, where it now sits as the only piece of non-Bayern memorabilia in the stadium.
Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn said in a statement, “The news of Gerd Muller’s death deeply saddens us all. He’s one of the greatest legends in the history of FC Bayern, his achievements are unrivalled
to this day and will forever be a part of the great history of FC Bayern and all of German football. As a player and a person, Gerd Muller stands for FC Bayern and its development into one of the biggest clubs in the world like no other. Gerd will forever be in our hearts.”
No doubt there will be many tributes in the world of football in the next few days in memory of Gerd Muller.
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