Gerd Müller, ‘the best striker in history,’ dies at 75

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Gerd Müller, the Bayern Munich and former West Germany soccer great referred to as “Der Bomber” for his scoring prowess, has died. He was 75. The Bavarian club announced his death on Sunday, with club president Herbert Hainer saying it had been “a sad, dark day for FC Bayern and every one 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 therein time. He still holds the record for the foremost goals scored within the Bundesliga with 365, scored in 427 league games. Müller’s goals, scored in a sort of ways, helped earn Bayern’s promotion to the Bundesliga in 1965 and inaugurate a period of greatness at the club that laid the inspiration for its success today.

“Gerd Müller was the best striker there’s ever been, and a fine person and character of world football,” Hainer said during a statement posted on the club’s website. “We’re all united in deep mourning together with his wife Uschi also as his family.” Former West Germany forward Rudi Völler said it had been “a sad day for soccer. Gerd’s performances will stay unforgettable.”

Tributes came from outside Germany, too. “The best striker in history,” Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said on Twitter. Former England forward Gary Lineker said he “loved watching him as a toddler and learned such a lot from doing so. the best bench goal scorer I’ve ever seen.” Bayern announced in October 2015 that Müller had Alzheimer’s disease for “a long time” which he had been cared for professionally with the support of his family since the start of February that year.

Müller made 607 competitive appearances for Bayern. He was the league’s top scorer on seven occasions. He was ready to score goals as important to Bayern’s ascent to becoming Germany’s powerhouse as former teammates Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeneß. Müller’s record of 40 goals scored within the 1971-72 Bundesliga season was only beaten last season when current Bayern forward Robert Lewandowski scored his 41st within the eleventh hour of the last game.

Müller also helped West Germany win the ECU Championship in 1972, then the planet Cup two years later, when he scored the winning goal within the final against the Netherlands. Rainer Bonhof remembers fixing Müller for that winning goal in Munich. “I played the ball in from the proper so hard that the ball came back off his foot. then he fired the ball through a Dutch player’s legs and into the goal for 2-1. He was the sole one who could do such a thing,” Bonhof told Monday’s edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.

Altogether Müller scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany. it had been a national record only surpassed in 2014 by Miroslav Klose, who needed 129 appearances to match him. “He was the simplest German forward of all time. Without him, FC Bayern and therefore the German team would never are ready to take this successful path,” Bavarian state president Markus Söder said. ”I myself was an enormous fan. All of Bavaria is mourning.”

The chief executive of Bayern rival Borussia Dortmund also paid his respect. “Gerd Müller was one of the most important idols of my childhood and youth,” Hans-Joachim Watzke said. “I had the good honor to urge to understand him personally as a really humble and pleasant person. He was an impressive player for whom FC Bayern and therefore the German soccer team owe such a lot .” Müller became a youth coach at Bayern after his playing days, working with players like Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, and Thomas Müller.

“His achievements are unrivaled to the present day and can forever be a neighborhood of the good history of FC Bayern and every one of German football,” Bayern chairman Oliver Kahn added within the club statement. “As a player and an individual , Gerd Müller stands for FC Bayern and its development into one among the most important clubs within the world like no other. Gerd will forever be in our hearts.”

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