FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter has expressed his deepest sympathy on the death of Helmut Haller. The former German international, who was one of the country's best-loved players of the post-war era, passed away on Thursday 11 October 2012 at the age of 73 after a serious illness.
"We were deeply saddened to learn of the loss of Helmut Haller," Blatter wrote in a letter to the German Football Association (DFB). "Haller was one of the originators of what became a fine tradition of top German players testing their skills in the Italian league, where he won three titles with Bologna and Juventus. He also made his name on the international stage, taking part in three FIFA World Cups and most notably in the 1966 World Cup Final against England, where he scored the opening goal. He will also be fondly remembered for his generous gesture of fair play in returning the match ball to Geoff Hurst in recognition of the hat-trick scored by the England forward in that game."
"On behalf of FIFA and of the global family of football, I would like to express our deepest sympathy. May our words in these sad and difficult times bring you a little strength and courage. We will honour his memory," the FIFA President concluded.