‘Bomber of the nation’ dies: Bayern, Germany mourn Gerd Müller

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Germany and Bayern Munich are mourning the loss of striking legend Gerd Mueller, known as the ‘bomber of the nation’, after the Bundesliga champions confirmed the death of their former player early on Sunday aged 75.

“Today is a sad, dark day for FC Bayern and all its fans,” said Bayern club president Herbert Hainer. “Gerd Mueller was the greatest striker there’s ever been, and a fine person and character of world football.

“We’re all united in deep mourning with his wife Uschi as well as his family. FC Bayern wouldn’t be the club we all love today without Gerd Mueller.
“His name and memory will live on forever.”

Mueller joined Bayern in 1964 and was part of an era which established the Munich side as a European force.

Alongside club team-mates such as Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner and Uli Hoeness, he helped West Germany win first the 1972 European Championship and then bagged the winner, in Munich, in the 1974 World Cup final triumph over the Netherlands.

“Gerd Mueller was the greatest striker we ever had in Germany,” former national team coach Joachim Loew said in 2015.

Known as a legendary penalty box poacher, Mueller remains the Bundesliga record scorer with 365 goals in 427 games – many of his strikes came off balance, prone on the ground or from some other angle where shots, never mind goals, seemed impossible.

His single season tally of 40 goals from 1971/72 stood as a record until finally being eclipsed by Bayern’s Robert Lewandowski, with 41, last term.

“He’s one of the greatest legends in the history of FC Bayern, his achievements are unrivalled to this day and will forever be a part of the great history of FC Bayern and all of German football,” said Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn.

“As a player and a person, Gerd Mueller stands for FC Bayern and its development into one of the biggest clubs in the world like no other. Gerd will forever be in our hearts.”

Mueller won three European Cups with Bayern in addition to a Cup Winners’ Cup, four Bundesligas and four Germany Cups.

The penalty box king had long stepped back from the public eye, however, as he battled Alzheimer’s disease and lived in a nursing home.

“He was always a fighter, always brave, throughout his life,” his wife, Uschi Mueller, told the Bild paper ahead of his 75th birthday last November. “And he is now. Gerd is sleeping towards his end.”

“He is quiet and peaceful, and I don’t think he has to suffer.”

While Mueller made a massive contribution to Bayern, his club also took a significant hand in his beyond after scoring goals.

After he ended his career in 1982, he suffered from alcoholism. His former team-mates at Bayern were the ones to convince him to go through rehab.

And once recovered, Bayern gave him a coaching position at their under-23 team.

The victory over alcoholism was probably the most important in his life. “After four weeks I was cured,” he said in 2007. “To do that in such a short time, it was quite an achievement.”

Had he played today, Mueller would have been showered with riches, but whether he would have embraced social media and the attention which comes with the modern game is debatable.

Mueller was a superstar, but not one for glamour or red carpets, and reporters would not get a headline from his interviews.

He never envied Beckenbauer for his place in the spotlight as the former defender continued to travel around the world after his playing career.

“I’m not the type who likes to be away from home,” Mueller said before his illness took hold.

News Ghana, Latest Updates and Breaking News of Ghana, DPA, https://ift.tt/3CQzQqX
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