3. November 1945, Nördlingen († 15. August 2021)
1963-1964 TSV 1861 Nördlingen
1964-1979 FC Bayern München
1979-1981 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
1981-1982 Smith Brothers Lounge
427 appearances, 365 goals (Bundesliga)
113 appearances, 71 goals (North American Soccer League, USA)
Deutscher Meister: 1969, 1972, 1973, 1974
DFB-Pokalsieger: 1966, 1967, 1969, 1971
Europapokal der Landesmeister: 1974, 1975, 1976
Europapokal der Pokalsieger: 1976
62 caps (68 goals)
"None of us would be here without Gerd Müller," Franz Beckenbauer once said at a meeting of the Bayern Munich supervisory board. That just about sums it up. Expressed in numbers, it looks like this: 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga appearances, 79 in the DFB Cup and 66 in European competition. All for Bayern. Müller also notched an incredible 68 goals in just 62 international appearances. He once scored 40 goals in a Bundesliga season and was the only player to top the scoring chart seven times. Between 1966 and 1978, he never slipped below 20 goals per season, and registered more than 30 on five occasions.
Müller remains the quintessential goalscorer to this day, a striker with a unique ability to find the net from any angle. Whether sitting or lying, falling or flying, Müller was always on hand whenever a sniff of goal pervaded the opposition penalty area. The most important of his many decisive strikes provides ample illustration of that:
Minute 43 of the 1974 World Cup final. Germany and Holland are level at 1-1. Rainer Bonhof gets down the right. His task now is to deliver the ball into the middle somehow. And that's how the cross turns out. Not so much precise but rather safe in the knowledge it will find the best recipient of a ball in the world. The situation culminates in a typical Müller goal. He collects the ball, takes a quick, inimitable turn and, almost in the same instant, gets the shot off. 2-1! Germany have won the World Cup.
His accuracy in front of goal earned him the martial nickname of the 'Nation's Bomber'. The king of goalscorers, he remains the measure of all things. Müller typifies the old-school centre-forward, the likes of which have all but disappeared from the modern game. A genuine number nine. "If he played today," said Franz Beckenbauer, "Gerd Müller would score 80 goals a season." Which would make Müller himself the sole threat to his all-time goalscoring record.