GERD MÜLLERLegendary Germany Footballer
- Date of Birth
- November 3, 1945
- Place of Birth
- Nördlingen, Allied-occupied Germany
- 1.76 m (5 ft 9 1⁄2 in)
- Playing Position
Gerhard “Gerd” Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛrt ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a German retired footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, especially inside the penalty box, he is regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers of all time.
At international level with West Germany he scored 68 goals in 62 appearances, and at club level, after fifteen years with Bayern Munich, he scored a record 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games and an international record of 66 goals in 74 European club games. Averaging more than a goal a game with West Germany, Müller is now twelfth on the list of all time international goalscorers despite playing fewer matches than every other player in the top 25. Among the top scorers only Poul Nielsen and Sándor Kocsis have higher scoring rates.
His nicknames are “Bomber der Nation” (the nation’s Bomber) or simply “Der Bomber”, and “kleines dickes Müller” (short fat Müller; this name was given to him by Čik Čajkovski, his first coach at Bayern Munich. Čajkovski was Croatian and got the German declension wrong (correct “kleiner dicker Müller“).
In 1970, Müller was named European Footballer of the Year after a successful season at Bayern Munich, and scoring 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup for West Germany where he received the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. He scored four goals in the 1974 World Cup, including the winning goal in the final. Müller held the all-time goal-scoring record in the World Cup with 14 goals, a record that stood for 32 years until it was broken by Brazil’s Ronaldo, and later by Miroslav Klose, Germany.
In 1999, Müller was ranked ninth in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS, and he was voted thirteenth in the IFFHS’ World Player of the Century election. In 2004, Pelé named Müller in the FIFA 100 list of the world’s greatest living players.
Born in Nördlingen, Germany, Müller began his football career at the TSV 1861 Nördlingen. Müller joined FC Bayern Munich in 1964 where he teamed up with future stars Franz Beckenbauer and Sepp Maier. The club, which would go on to become the most successful German club in history was then still in the Regionalliga Süd (Regional League South), which was one level below the Bundesliga at the time. After one season, Bayern Munich advanced to the Bundesliga and started a long string of successes. With his club, Müller amassed titles during the 60s and 70s: He won the German Championship four times, the DFB-Pokal four times, the European Champions’ Cup three times, the Intercontinental Cup once, and the European Cup Winners’ Cup once. A supremely opportunistic goal-scorer, he also became German top scorer seven times and European top scorer twice. Müller scored 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga matches for Bayern Munich, almost 100 goals more than the second most successful Bundesliga scorer, Klaus Fischer. He holds the single-season Bundesliga record with 40 goals in season 1971–72, a record that is particularly impressive because unlike other top-flight national leagues, the Bundesliga only has 18 teams and therefore only 34 games per season. Müller averaged a goal per game or better in seven of his 14 seasons. He scored 68 goals in 62 German international games. He held the record for most goals scored in a calendar year, striking 85 goals in 1972, until his record was surpassed on 9 December 2012 by Lionel Messi. His record of 66 goals in 74 appearances in European Cups was surpassed by Raúl in the 2010 campaign, while playing for Schalke 04.