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Football: Germany and Bayern great Mueller dies aged 75

Football: Germany and Bayern great Mueller dies aged 75

German soccer legend and FC Bayern Munich assistant coach Gerd Mueller speaks during a press conference in Calcutta, India on Jan 19, 2009. (Photo: AP/Bikas Das)

Germany great Gerd Mueller, widely regarded as one of the game's greatest goalscorers and nicknamed "Bomber der Nation", has died at the age of 75, his former club Bayern Munich said on Sunday (Aug 15).

Mueller scored 68 goals in 62 international games for West Germany, including the winner in the 1974 World Cup final, and is third in the all-time list of most goals in the competition with 14 goals behind Ronaldo (15) and Miroslav Klose (16).

He also won the European championship in 1972 with them.

Having joined Bayern in 1964, Mueller - an instinctive striker who was good in the air and quick on his feet - pumped in 566 goals in 607 competitive matches for the club during a 15-year spell.

Mueller scored a record 365 goals in the Bundesliga in a trophy-laden career that included four league titles, four DFB Cup titles and three European Cups with Bayern.

He won the Golden Boot scoring 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup before collecting the Ballon d'Or that year.

In this Jun 14, 1970 file photo Germany's Gerd Mueller scores the decisive third goal for Germany during the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and England in Leon, Mexico. (Photo: AP)

Bayern said in 2015 that Mueller had been "seriously ill" for some time with Alzheimer's disease.

"Today is a sad, black day for Bayern and all of its fans. Gerd Mueller was the greatest striker there has ever been and a fine person, a personality in world football," Bayern president Herbert Hainer said in a statement.

"We're united in deep sorrow with his wife Uschi and his family. Without Gerd Mueller, Bayern would not be the club we all love today. His name and the memory of him will live on forever."

Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said the news affected them deeply.

"He's one of the greatest legends in the history of Bayern, his achievements are unmatched to this day and will forever be part of the great history of Bayern and all of German football," Kahn said.

"As a player and as a person, Gerd Mueller stands like no other for Bayern and its development into one of the largest clubs in the world. He'll be in our hearts forever."

Lionel Messi beat Mueller's 40-year-old record of 85 goals in a calendar year in 2012.

In May, Bayern's Robert Lewandowski netted his 41st goal of the 2020-2021 season to eclipse Mueller's Bundesliga goal-scoring mark for a single campaign which stood for nearly five decades.

Source: Reuters/jt

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