'One of the greatest': World mourns death of German legend Gerd Muller

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West Germany star Gerd Muller is seen here being hoisted up at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
Gerd Muller has died at the age of 75 after a lenghty battle with Alzheimer's disease. Pic: Getty

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."

Pictured here, Gerd Muller celebrates with West Germany teammates at the 1974 World Cup.
Gerd Muller was part of the legendary West Germany side that won the 1974 World Cup. Pic: Getty

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.

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.

with agencies

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