Gerd Muller is a former German footballer, who played as a striker and his prolific goal scoring record for both his clubs and his country earned him the nickname ‘Bomber der Nation’. Muller was born in the city of Nordingen in Germany and played for the youth ranks of the local club 1861 Nordingen, for whom he scored plenty of goals as a youngster. Eventually he moved to Bayern Munich in 1964 and stayed with the club for 15 years during which he helped them win almost every major trophy for which it competed, including the European Cup that the club won three times on the trot in the 1970s. Muller remains the highest ever goal scorer in the history of the German football clubs and without doubt one of its greatest ever players. For the national team, Muller scored 68 goals and that too remained a record for many years. Muller scored a total of 14 goals in World Cup competitions and was instrumental in Germany’s 1974 World Cup triumph at home. Gerd Muller also helped the Germans win the European Championship in 1972 and remains one of the most decorated players to have ever represented the country at the international level.
Childhood & Early Life
Gerhard Muller, better known as Gerd Muller, was born on 3 November, 1945 in Nordingen, Germany. The names of his parents are unknown and very little is known about his life as a child.
Gerd Muller started playing football when he was a child and joined the youth ranks of his local club 1861 Nordingen before long. Muller was a prodigious goal scorer for the youth team of the club and plundered 180 goals in the season that ended in 1963.
Following his exploits with 1861 Nordingen, Gerd Muller was signed up by Bayern Munich in 1964 but at that point the club was in the second division. However, it got promoted to the Bundesliga the following year and Muller’s contribution as a goal scorer was vital in that campaign.
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Gerd Muller quickly became one of the most important players in the Bayern Munich squad as his prolific goal scoring made the club one of the most successful clubs in Germany and Europe. In 1969, Bayern Munich became the German league winners for the first time and Muller was instrumental in the achievement. Over the next decade, he would help Bayern Munich win 3 more league titles.
He made his debut for the West German national team in 1966 and eight years later he helped the team win the World Cup at home when he netted the winning goal in the final against the Netherlands. He scored 68 goals for the national team in 62 games that stood as a record for close to four decades. Muller’s record of 14 goals in World Cup competitions also stood for 32 years.
In the season that ended in 1972, he not only helped Bayern Munich win the league title but also scored 40 goals in the season to become the highest goal scorer in a single Bundesliga season and the record stands till the present day. In the same year, Muller led the West German attack in the European Championships and scored four goals as the national team emerged as the champions.
He was also instrumental in Bayern Munich’s run in the European Cup for three years starting from 1974, when the club won the tournament thrice in a row. Muller was their striker at the time and scored a number of goals in those campaigns. In the European Cup, Muller netted 66 times in a total of 74 games and it was a record that stood for a long time.
In 1979, he left Bayern Munich after having spent 15 years at the club and winning numerous trophies. He scored a total of 525 goals across all competitions for the club and remains the highest ever goal scorer in the club’s history. In the same year, he joined Fort Lauderdale Strikers in the United States and played for them for two years. Subsequently he served as the assistant manager of the Bayern Munich reserve team.
Awards & Achievements
Gerd Muller won the Ballon D’Or in 1970 and throughout his career he was nominated for the award a number of times.
He was adjudged as the German Footballer of the Year in 1967 and he was given the honour again two years later.
He had a stellar career as a footballer during which he held numerous goal scoring records and won every trophy that he competed for. His most important achievement was that of helping Germany win the World Cup at home in 1974 and Muller scored the winning goal in a 2-1 win in the final in front of his home crowd in Munich.
Personal Life & Legacy
Gerd Muller got married to Uschi Ebenbock in 1967. They have one child named Nicole Muller.
He had an alcohol problem for many years but he recovered from the problem after going through rehabilitation.