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Tributes are flooding in on social media from football fans around the world over the devastating news that German legend Gerd Muller has died at the age of 75.
The Germany and Bayern Munich great is widely regarded as one of the greatest strikers to ever play the game and one look at his career statistics makes it easy to see why.
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Known throughout the game as 'Der Bomber', was was part of an era which established Bayern as Europe's top team.
He joined the Bavarian outfit in 1964 and went on to score 398 goals for the club in 453 matches.
One of the deadliest forwards the game has ever seen, his goalscoring prowess was the stuff of legend.
Alongside club teammates such as Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner and Uli Hoeness, he helped West Germany win the 1972 European Championship and then bagged the winner, in Munich, in the 1974 World Cup final triumph over the Netherlands.
"Today is a sad, black day for FC Bayern and all of its fans," Bayern president Herbert Hainer said.
"Gerd Muller was the greatest striker there has ever been - and a fine person, a personality in world football. We are united in deep sorrow with his wife Uschi and his family.
"Without Gerd Muller, FC Bayern would not be the club we all love today. His name and the memory of him will live on forever."
Muller won the Golden Boot for scoring 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup in a year that he also claimed the Ballon d'Or.
A two times German footballer of the year, many of Muller's goalscoring records stood for three decades or more before they were eventually broken by current stars Lionel Messi and Robert Lewandowski.
Known as the most prolific of penalty box poachers, Muller remains the Bundesliga record scorer with 365 goals in 427 games.
Many of his strikes came off balance, prone on the ground or from some other angle where shots, never mind goals, seemed impossible.
"Today is a sad, dark day for FC Bayern and all its fans," said Bayern club president Herbert Hainer.
"Gerd Muller was the greatest striker there's ever been, and a fine person and character of world football.
"We're all united in deep mourning with his wife Uschi as well as his family.
"His name and memory will live on forever."
Muller's single season tally of 40 goals from 1971-72 stood as a record until finally being eclipsed by Bayern's Robert Lewandowski, with 41, last term.
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) August 15, 2021
His 85 goals in 1972 were also the most strikes in a calendar year before Messi broke the record in 2012 with a staggering 91 goals.
Muller had been battling Alzheimer's disease since 2015, when Bayern Munich announced that he was suffering from the condition.
Tributes roll in for Gerd Muller across the world
"He's one of the greatest legends in the history of FC Bayern, his achievements are unrivalled to this day and will forever be a part of the great history of FC Bayern and all of German football," said Bayern chief executive Oliver Kahn.
Muller won three European Cups with Bayern in addition to a Cup Winners' Cup, four Bundesligas and four Germany Cups.
The penalty box king had long stepped back from the public eye, however, as he battled Alzheimer's disease and lived in a nursing home.
"He was always a fighter, always brave, throughout his life," his wife, Uschi Muller, told the Bild paper ahead of his 75th birthday last November.
"And he is now. Gerd is sleeping towards his end."
"He is quiet and peaceful, and I don't think he has to suffer."
Muller's passing has led to an overwhelming number of tributes for the player across the football world.
Bayern Munich icon and West Germany World Cup winner Gerd Muller has died aged 75.
566 goals in 607 games for Bayern. 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany.
One of the greatest goalscorers in the history of the game 🙏 pic.twitter.com/d55Zwy3fwc
— B/R Football (@brfootball) August 15, 2021
We’re saddened to hear of the passing of footballing legend, Gerd Muller.
It was an honour to come up against him and the incredible West Germany squad of 1974.
Rest In Peace. pic.twitter.com/ixrmNYpTBc
— Socceroos (@Socceroos) August 15, 2021
Bayern Munich legend Gerd Muller has passed away, aged 75.
One of football's true greats.
May he rest in peace ❤️ pic.twitter.com/ukGLVOt0aC
— Goal (@goal) August 15, 2021
One of the all time greats of the beautiful game.
Rest in peace, Gerd Muller. 🙏 pic.twitter.com/UpeFgGmU2X
— The CR7 Timeline. (@TimelineCR7) August 15, 2021
Gerd Muller was the last player to score 10+ goals in one World Cup. Scored 30+ club goals in 12 consecutive seasons. Top scorer in the CL in 4 seasons, in the Bundesliga in 7. Only player since 1962 to score 50 international goals at more than 1.0 per game. https://t.co/9swQkYdVUq
— Richard Jolly (@RichJolly) August 15, 2021
FIFA is deeply saddened at the passing of Gerd Muller. 'Der Bomber' won the Golden Boot at the 1970 #WorldCup and scored the winner as West Germany lifted the trophy four years later.
Our thoughts are with his family, friends and the German football community. RIP Gerd. pic.twitter.com/b9vuLtGbxk
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) August 15, 2021
Messi pays tribute to Gerd Muller, who passed away earlier today.
“A legend of football has left us” pic.twitter.com/fXlziAWmaG
— MC (@CrewsMat19) August 15, 2021
— Football Remind (@FootballRemind) August 15, 2021
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