Sunday 15 August 2021, 12:00

A tribute to Gerd Muller

Gerd Muller, who won the FIFA World Cup™ with West Germany in 1974, passed away today at the age of 75. The sad news was announced by his former club Bayern Munich.

Often known by his nickname, 'Bomber der Nation' (The Nation’s Bomber), Muller made history for both Bayern Munich and Germany, collecting numerous titles and setting records during his illustrious career. The striker scored a total of 68 goals in 62 appearances for his country. At just 1.76 metres tall, Muller was the archetypal penalty-box striker. 'Der Bomber' was a constant threat in front of the opposition goal and could score from any position. Whenever Muller received the ball inside the 18-yard box – whether on the turn, with his left foot, right foot or head, from a standing position or even lying down – it was not usually long before the net bulged.

Selected facts and figures: 

 At club level Matches: 607 Goals: 566 Bundesliga goals: 365 (still a record) Bundesliga top scorer: 7 times 

 Intercontinental Cups: 1 European Cups: 3 European Cup Winners’ Cups: 1 Bundesliga titles: 4 DFB Cups: 4 

 At international level Caps: 62 Goals: 68 World Cup goals: 14 UEFA EURO titles: 1 World Cup titles: 1 Muller helped West Germany to lift the Trophy on home turf at the 1974 FIFA World Cup™ and scored the winner as they beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the Final in Munich.

I’ve scored better goals, but the most important was the one that made us world champions.
Gerd Müller

Muller scored a total of 14 World Cup goals, a figure only his compatriot Miroslav Klose (16) and Brazil’s Ronaldo (15) have surpassed. Klose is also the only striker to have scored more often for Germany (71 goals) than Muller (68), although Klose required 137 games to reach his tally while Muller needed just 62.

Unfortunately, Muller spent the latter part of his life in a care home with Alzheimer’s disease, with Bayern announcing his diagnosis several years ago. Uschi Muller spoke about her husband’s condition on his 75th birthday in November 2020: “He’s always been a fighter, he was brave his whole life. And he’s the same now. Gerd is slowly passing to the afterlife in his sleep."