Birthday Boy : The Duestch Gentleman
A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, especially in and around the six-yard box, he is regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers of all time. He is Gerd Muller. On his 72nd Birthday here is his life in flashback.
Early Life :
Gerd Müller is a legendary German striker born on 3 November 1945 in Nördlingen, Germany.
Gerd started out his senior career with 1861 Nördlingen in 1963. He impressed already during his debut season in professional football scoring 51 goals in 31 matches for the club. In 1964, Müller moved to Bayern Munich who then competed in the lower Regionalliga Süd. Already in his first season with Bayern, he helped them to promote to the Bundesliga where they started a rise which over years has become increasingly unstoppable. During the 14 years with the Bavarian club Müller collected a myriad of titles. He amassed four Bundesliga titles, four German Cups, three UEFA Champions League victories, the Intercontinental Cup and the European Cup Winners’ Cup. Moreover, he amassed an array of individual honors. Thus, Müller is a seven-time German top scorer, two-time German footballer of the year, two-time European top scorer and other. In 1972, Gerd Müller set up a record for most goals in a calendar year as he scored 85 in all competitions. The record stood for 40 years before Lionel Messi surpassed with 92 goals in 2012. All in all, Müller scored a total of 566 goals in 607 appearances all competitions for Bayern during a 14-year stint.
Gerd Müller has also had a lion’s share of success on the international arena. He was honored the World Cup top scorer in 1970 setting up a record of 14 goals in the tournament. The record was surpassed by Brazil’s Ronaldo who scored 15 in 2006. With his 68 goals in 62 international games Müller established himself as legend for Germany and even got a moniker ‘Der Bomber’.
In the twilight of his career, Müller played for Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the North American Soccer League until his retirement in 1981. He scored 487 goals in his club career and 68 for West Germany.
After playing career :
After Müller ended his career in 1982, he fell into a slump and suffered from alcoholism. However, his former companions at Bayern Munich convinced him to go through alcohol rehabilitation. When he emerged, they gave him a job as a coach at Bayern Munich II. In October 2015, it was announced that Müller is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
Style Of Play:
In his book, Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football, author David Winner writes, “Müller was short, squat, awkward-looking and not notably fast; he never fitted the conventional idea of a great footballer, but he had lethal acceleration over short distances, a remarkable aerial game, and uncanny goalscoring instincts. His short legs gave him a strangely low center of gravity, so he could turn quickly and with perfect balance in spaces and at speeds that would cause other players to fall over. He also had a knack of scoring in unlikely situations.”
Regionalliga Süd (German Second Division): 1964–65
Bundesliga: 1968–69, 1971–72, 1972–73, 1973–74
DFB-Pokal: 1965–66, 1966–67, 1968–69, 1970–71
European Cup: 1973–74, 1974–75, 1975–76
European Cup Winners’ Cup: 1966–67
Intercontinental Cup: 1976
FIFA World Cup: 1974
European Championship: 1972
Ballon d’Or: 1970
German Footballer of the Year: 1967, 1969
Voted best Player 40 Years Bundesliga 1963–2003
Bundesliga Top Scorer: 1967, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1978
European Golden Shoe: 1970, 1972
FIFA World Cup Golden Boot: 1970
FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1970
UEFA European Championship Top Scorer: 1972
UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1972
European Cup Top Scorer: 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977
FIFA Order of Merit: 1998
FIFA 100: 2004
Golden Foot: 2007, as football legend
Bravo Otto: Gold award: 1973, 1974; Silver award: 1975; Bronze award: 1972, 1976
Personal Life :
Gerd Muller got married to Uschi Ebenbock in 1967. They have one child named Nicole Muller.
A former German footballer, who played as a striker and his prolific goal scoring record for both his clubs and his country earned him the nickname ‘Bomber der Nation’. We will always remember you as a warrior. Happy Birthday !