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Germany’s World Cup legend, Gerd Muller dies aged 75

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Gerd Muller scored the winning goal in the 1974 World Cup final

Scorer of West Germany’s winning goal against Holland at the 1974 World Cup final match, Gerd Muller who was also a Bayern Munich legend  has died at the age of 75.

The striker scored 68 goals in 62 appearances for West Germany. Muller also spent 15 years at Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich, scoring 547 goals in 594 competitive games for the club.

“Today is a sad, black day for FC Bayern and all of its fans,” Bayern president Herbert Hainer said.

“Gerd Muller was the greatest striker there has ever been – and a fine person, a personality in world football. We are united in deep sorrow with his wife Uschi and his family.

“Without Gerd Muller, FC Bayern would not be the club we all love today. His name and the memory of him will live on forever.”

‘One of the greatest legends in history’

Muller won the Golden Boot for netting 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup and also won the Ballon d’Or that year.

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He then helped West Germany win the European Championship two years later.

“The news of Gerd Muller’s death deeply saddens us all,” Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn said,

“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.

“As a player and a person, Gerd Muller 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.”

A record holder for decades

Muller held the record for the most goals in a calendar year after scoring 85 in 1972 until Lionel Messi surpassed his total in 2012.

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His record of 40 goals in a Bundesliga season stood for 49 years before it was broken by Robert Lewandowski in May.

In total, Muller helped Bayern win four Bundesliga and DFB Cup titles, three European Cups, a European Cup Winners’ Cup and an Intercontinental Cup.

In 2015, the club announced he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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