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Gerd Muller

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Subject: North American Soccer League (1968–84), Giorgio Chinaglia, FIFA World Cup awards, Eckhard Krautzun
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Gerd Muller

For other people named Gerd Müller, see Gerd Müller (disambiguation).
Gerd Müller
Bayern Munich II (Assistant manager)
Template:Infobox medal templates
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Gerhard "Gerd" Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛrt ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a retired German footballer and one of the most prolific goalscorers of all time.

With national records of 68 goals in 62 international appearances, 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games, and the international record of 66 goals in 74 European club games, he was one of the most successful goalscorers ever.[2] Müller is now tenth on the list of all time international goalscorers despite playing fewer matches than every other player in the top 25. Among top international 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“,[2] and “kleines dickes Müller” (short fat Müller; this name was given to him by Čik Čajkovski, his first coach at Bayern Munich. Čajkovski was Yugoslavian and got the German declension wrong).

In 1970, Müller was elected European Footballer of the Year after a successful season at Bayern Munich and scoring 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup. Müller held the all-time goal-scoring record in the tournament with a 14-goal total, a record that stood for 32 years until it was broken by Brazil's Ronaldo against Ghana in the Round of 16 of the 2006 World Cup. 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.[3] In 2004, Pelé named Müller one of the 125 best living footballers in his FIFA 100 list.[2]


Bayern Munich

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. He scored 68 goals in 62 German Cup games. He held the record for most goals scored in a calendar year, striking 85 goals in 1972,[4] until his record was surpassed on 9 December 2012 by Lionel Messi.[5][6] His record of 66 goals in 74 appearances in European Cups was surpassed by Raúl in the 2010 campaign, while playing for the German side Schalke 04.

National team

Müller scored 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany. His international career started in 1966 and ended on 7 July 1974 with the win of the World Cup at his home stadium in Munich.[7] He scored the winning goal for the 2–1 victory over the Netherlands in the final. His four goals in that tournament and his ten goals at the 1970 World Cup combined made him the all-time highest World Cup goalscorer at the time with 14 goals. This record stood until the 2006 tournament, coincidentally held in Germany, when it was broken by Brazilian forward Ronaldo on 27 June, playing against Ghana, although Ronaldo achieved it by playing in one more World Cup, with later World Cups also having more games than in Müller's era. The new record was later equalled after three world cups by Müller's fellow countryman, Miroslav Klose, in the 2010 World Cup. Müller also participated in the 1972 European Championship, becoming top scorer with four goals (including two in the final) and winning the Championship with the West German team.

Fort Lauderdale Strikers

After his career in the Bundesliga he went to the United States, where he joined the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League in 1979. He played three seasons with this team, scoring 38 goals, and once reaching, but losing, the league final in 1980. He was a 2nd-team NASL All Star in 1979.

Life after football

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, where he still works to this day. There is also a collection of apparel released by sporting giants Adidas under the Gerd Müller name. It is part of the adidas originals series. In July 2008, the Rieser Sportpark, in Nördlingen, where Müller had begun his career, was renamed the Gerd-Müller-Stadion in his honour.

Playing style

In his book "Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football", David Winner writes, "Müller was short, squat, awkward-looking and not notably fast; he never fit 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."

The impression that Gerd Müller was not very fast may stem from his short appearance. He did not run very much, but this is rather typical of people with fast-twitch muscle fibers - they rely on short bursts of speed. Speed and agility were always Gerd Müller's greatest assets - and this enabled him to reach an extreme acceleration and be first to the ball. He also regularly soared higher than much taller defenders while jumping for the ball. [8] His team mate Franz Beckenbauer has emphasized Müller's unusual speed: "His pace was incredible. In training I have played against him and I never had a chance."

Career statistics

Club career statistics

A goals tally in bold indicates that Müller was the competition's top scorer for that season.

Club performance League Cup Continental
[stats 1]
Other Total Notes
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Comp Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1963–64 TSV 1861 Nördlingen Bezirksliga Schwaben 31 51 31 51
1964–65 Bayern Munich Regionalliga Süd 26 33 8 8 34 41 [stats 2]
1965–66 Bundesliga 33 15 6 1 39 16
1966–67 32 28 4 7 CWC 9 8 45 43 [stats 3]
1967–68 34 19 4 4 CWC 8 7 46 30
1968–69 30 30 5 7 35 37
1969–70 33 38 3 4 EC 2 0 38 42
1970–71 32 22 7 10 ICFC 8 7 47 39
1971–72 34 40 6 5 CWC 8 5 48 50
1972–73 33 36 5 7 EC 6 12 5 12 49 67 [stats 4]
1973–74 34 30 4 5 EC 10 8 48 43 [stats 5]
1974–75 33 23 3 2 EC 7 5 43 30 [stats 6]
1975–76 22 23 6 7 EC 7 5 34 35 [stats 7]
1976–77 25 28 4 11 EC 8 9 37 48 [stats 8]
[stats 9]
1977–78 33 24 3 4 UEFA 6 4 42 32 [stats 10]
1978–79 19 9 2 4 21 13
Total Bundesliga 427 365
Bayern total 453 398 62 78 79 70 13 20 607 566
German football total 484 449 62 78 79 70 13 20 638 617
1979 Fort Lauderdale Strikers NASL 25 19 25 19
1980 29 14 29 14
1981 17 5 17 5
Total 71 38 71 38
Career total 555 487 62 78 79 70 13 20 709 655

International career statistics

National team statistics


Germany national team
Year Apps Goals
Friendlies - 1966 1 1
Friendlies - 1967 1 1
UEFA Euro 1968 qual. 3 6
Friendlies - 1968 1 1
1970 FIFA World Cup qual. 6 9
Friendlies - 1969 3 2
Friendlies - 1970 5 2
1970 FIFA World Cup 6 10
Friendlies - 1971 4 7
UEFA Euro 1972 qual. 7 6
Friendlies - 1972 3 8
UEFA Euro 1972 2 4
Friendlies - 1973 8 7
Friendlies - 1974 5 2
1974 FIFA World Cup 7 4
Total 62 68

International goals

Scores and results list Germany's goal tally first:


Titles with Bayern Munich


Personal honours


External links

  • (German)
  • Portrait of Gerd Müller at
  • Statistics on Müller's matches and goals at

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