Gerd Müller

For other people named Gerd Müller, see Gerd Müller (disambiguation).
Gerd Müller

Müller in 2007
Personal information
Full name Gerhard Müller
Date of birth (1945-11-03) 3 November 1945
Place of birth Nördlingen, Allied-occupied Germany
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)[1]
Playing position Striker
Youth career
1960–1963 1861 Nördlingen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1963–1964 1861 Nördlingen 31 (51)
1964–1979 Bayern Munich 453 (398)
1979–1981 Fort Lauderdale Strikers 71 (38)
Total 555 (487)
National team
1966 West Germany U23 1 (1)
1966–1974 West Germany 62 (68)
Teams managed
1992–2014 Bayern Munich II (Assistant manager)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Gerhard "Gerd" Müller (German pronunciation: [ˈɡɛrt ˈmʏlɐ]; born 3 November 1945) is a German retired footballer. A prolific striker renowned for his clinical finishing, especially in and around the six-yard box, he is regarded as one of the greatest goalscorers of all time.[2]

At international level with West Germany, he scored 68 goals in 62 appearances, and at club level, after 15 years with Bayern Munich, he scored a record 365 goals in 427 Bundesliga games and an international record of 66 goals in 74 European club games.[2] Averaging more than a goal a game with West Germany, Müller is now twelfth on the list of all time international goalscorers despite playing fewer matches than every other player in the top 25. Among the top scorers, he has the third-highest goal-to-game ratio.

Nicknamed Bomber der Nation (the nation's Bomber) or simply Der Bomber,[2] Müller was named European Footballer of the Year in 1970. After a successful season at Bayern Munich, he scored 10 goals at the 1970 World Cup for West Germany where he received the Golden Boot as top goalscorer. He scored four goals in the 1974 World Cup, including the winning goal in the final. Müller held the all-time goal-scoring record in the World Cup with 14 goals for 32 years. 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 in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players.[2]

Club career

Bayern Munich

Müller autographing a football in 1967. To his right are Franz Beckenbauer and Werner Olk.

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, a record that is particularly impressive because unlike other top-flight national leagues, the Bundesliga only has 18 teams and therefore only 34 games per season. Müller averaged a goal per game or better in seven of his 14 seasons. He scored 68 goals in 62 German international games. He held the record for most goals scored in a calendar year, striking 85 goals in 1972,[4] until his total was surpassed 40 years later by Lionel Messi.[5][6]

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.

International career

Müller (right) celebrating after winning the 1974 FIFA World Cup

Müller scored 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany. He was Germany's all-time leading scorer for almost 40 years until he was surpassed by Miroslav Klose in 2014, though Klose required more than double the amount of caps to do so, scoring his 69th goal in his 132nd appearance.[7] Müller's international career started in 1966 and ended on 7 July 1974 with victory at the 1974 World Cup at his home stadium in Munich.[8] He scored the winning goal for the 2–1 victory over Johan Cruyff's 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 goal. His record stood until the 2006 tournament, coincidentally held in Germany, when it was broken by Brazilian striker Ronaldo, though he also required more matches than Müller to achieve his tally. 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.

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. 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.

In October 2015, it was announced that Müller is suffering from Alzheimer's disease.[9]

Playing style

In his book, Brilliant Orange: The Neurotic Genius of Dutch Football, author David Winner writes: "Müller was short, squat, awkward-looking and not notably fast; he never fitted 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.[10] 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
1963–64TSV 1861 NördlingenBezirksliga Schwaben31513151
1964–65Bayern MunichRegionalliga Süd2633663239
1966–67322847CWC984543[stats 2]
1972–73333657EC6125124967[stats 3]
1973–74343045EC1084843[stats 4]
1974–75332332EC754330[stats 5]
1975–76222367EC753435[stats 6]
1976–772528411EC453748[stats 7]
[stats 8]
1977–78332434UEFA644232[stats 9]
Bayern total453398627879701118605564
German football total484449627879701320636615
1979Fort Lauderdale StrikersNASL25192519
Career total555487627879701118707653
  1. Includes European Cup (35 appearances/35 goals), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (25/20), Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (8/7), UEFA Cup (6/4), UEFA Super Cup (3/3) and Intercontinental Cup (2/1)
  2. Joint Bundesliga top scorer with Lothar Emmerich
  3. 5 appearances and 12 goals in the 1972–73 DFB-Ligapokal
  4. Joint Bundesliga top scorer with Jupp Heynckes
  5. Joint European Cup top scorer with Eduard Markarov
  6. 1 appearance in the 1975 UEFA Super Cup
  7. Joint European Cup top scorer with Franco Cucinotta (5 goals each)
  8. 2 appearances (3 goals) in the 1976 UEFA Super Cup, 2 appearances (1 goal) in the 1976 Intercontinental Cup
  9. Joint Bundesliga top scorer with Dieter Müller

International career statistics

National team statistics


Germany national team
Friendlies – 196610
Friendlies – 196711
UEFA Euro 1968 qual.36
Friendlies – 196810
1970 FIFA World Cup qual.69
Friendlies – 196932
Friendlies – 197052
1970 FIFA World Cup610
Friendlies – 197147
UEFA Euro 1972 qual.76
Friendlies – 197238
UEFA Euro 197224
Friendlies – 197387
Friendlies – 197452
1974 FIFA World Cup74

International goals

Müller scored 68 goals in 62 games for West Germany. His 14 goals in FIFA World Cup tournaments was a record between 1974 and 2006. This mark was bettered in 2006 by Brazil's Ronaldo, and eight years later by German Miroslav Klose, who also broke Müller's record for goals for Germany.[13][14]



Bayern Munich[2][15][16]





  1. "Gerd Müller" (in German). Retrieved 17 December 2008.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "Der Bomber wrote records for eternity". Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  3. Stokkermans, Karel (30 January 2000). "IFFHS Century Elections". Retrieved 21 June 2014.
  4. Uli Hesse (17 November 2012). "Looking for Goals". ESPN. Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  5. Shergold, Adam (9 December 2012). "Month by month, goal by goal... The diary of Messi's extraordinary record-breaking year". Mail Online. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  6. "Lionel Messi of Barcelona sets new goal-scoring record". BBC Sport. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
  7. "World Cup in sight as Germany see off Austria". 6 September 2013. Retrieved 2 November 2016.
  8. Lomas, Mark (28 May 2010). "Gerd Muller: Der Bomber". ESPN Soccernet. ESPN. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
  9. "Bayern Munich and Germany legend Gerd Muller suffering from Alzheimer's disease". Daily Mail. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
  10. "PlayersBios". Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  11. "Gerd Müller". National Football Teams. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  12. "Gerhard "Gerd" Müller – Goals in International Matches". 25 March 2005. Retrieved 24 October 2011.
  13. "Gerhard "Gerd" Müller – Goals in International Matches". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  14. "Klose breaks World Cup goal record". 8 July 2014. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  15. 1 2 "Gerd Müller" (in German). Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  16. "Der 38. Spieltag der Regionalliga Süd 1964/1965" (in German). Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  17. Moore, Rob; Stokkermans, Karel. "European Footballer of the Year ("Ballon d'Or")". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  18. "Fußballer des Jahres seit 1960: Die Siegerliste" (in German). Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  19. Hartmann, Ulrich (11 May 2010). ""Ich könnte heulen"" ["I could cry"] (in German). Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  20. "Topscorer 2012/2013: Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)". Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  21. "1972 team of the tournament". 2 May 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  22. "Top Scorers". Retrieved 6 September 2014.
  23. "FIFA Order of Merit" (PDF). Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  24. "Legends". Golden Foot. Retrieved 23 September 2015.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gerd Müller.
Preceded by
Just Fontaine
FIFA World Cup Highest Goalscorer
7 July 1974 – 27 June 2006
Succeeded by
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