West Germany legend Gerd Muller passed away at 75

Bayern Munich and West Germany great Gerd Muller has died at the age of 75, the Bundesliga champions have confirmed, with club president saying it was “a sad, dark day for FC Bayern and all its fans.” Müller scored 566 goals for Bayern between 1964 and 1979, helping the team to four German titles, four German Cup wins and three European Cup victories.

“Gerd Müller was the greatest striker there’s ever been, and a fine person and character of world football,” Bayern Munich President Herbert Hainer said in a statement posted on the club’s website. “We’re all united in deep mourning with his wife Uschi as well as his family.” Muller holds the record for the most goals scored in the Bundesliga with 365, scored in 427 league games.

“His achievements are unrivaled to this day,” said Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn. “As a player and a person, Gerd Müller stands for FC Bayern and its development into one of the biggest clubs in the world like no other.” Lewandowski had previously tied Müller’s 49-year record the previous weekend, revealing a shirt afterward paying tribute to the legendary striker which read “4EVER GERD.”

Nicknamed ‘Der Bomber’ because of his goalscoring prowess, Muller netted 68 goals in 62 internationals, including the winner in the 1974 World Cup final against the Netherlands, and is third in the all-time list of most goals in the tournament with 14, behind Brazilian Ronaldo (15) and German Miroslav Klose (16). Former West Germany forward Rudi Völler said it was “a sad day for soccer.”

He was also part of the national team which won the 1972 European Championship, scoring twice in the 3-0 victory against the Soviet Union in the final. “The DFB is mourning the passing of one of the greatest German footballers of all time. Rest in peace, Gerd Müller. Our thoughts are with his wife and family at this time,” tweeted the German Football Federation.

After his retirement, Müller stayed at Bayern and became a youth coach at, working with players such as Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Thomas Müller. In 2015, Bayern announced that Müller had Alzheimer’s disease for “a long time” and according to FIFA’s website in November 2020, he lived in a care home to the south of Munich, where he was regularly visited by his wife.

Uschi Muller told in a previous interview that her husband “is in bed for almost 24 hours a day and is only awake for a few moments.” Tributes also came from outside Germany, with former Bayern Munich coach and current Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola describing him as “the best striker in history”. The chief executive of Bayern rival Borussia Dortmund also paid his respect.

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